Natural Light - Added some practice examples post #11
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Thread: Natural Light - Added some practice examples post #11

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    Community Host Ladybugsteph's Avatar
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    Default Natural Light - Added some practice examples post #11

    Can we talk about the different kinds of natural light to shoot in? Not sure if it's discussed in Understanding Exposure or not (I finally got it!), and if it is, I'm not there yet.

    I shoot mostly in full shade. Mostly because there's an abundance of it in our yard, but also, when we first moved here, I remember taking some photos (pre-DSLR) in the sun, and some on here suggested moving him to the shade. I saw an immediate difference and all the shadows on his face were gone. So I never really shot out of the shade since.

    So am I limiting myself? I know I've seen some people talk about shooting in the morning, or evening light. Does that mean not in the shade? If so, do you not get the shadows that you get when shooting at, say, 2pm?

    I hope I don't sound stupid or anything
    Last edited by Ladybugsteph; 04-14-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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    Posting Addict Amy_&_Eva's Avatar
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    Not stupid at all! With morning & evening sun, you can position the subjects more "in" the sun but not have the harsh shine of high daylight. In fact it can provide an awesome beautiful glow, and nice catchlights since the person doesn't have to squint. Also, you can position the subjects in front of the low-sun to get that great backlighting, like I did this past weekend----
    I was just about to post a snap of Eva that I did with the evening sun backlighting her (with a goofy face--she did not want to cooperate at this point), testing out my new 300mm on a person:



    The reason I was going to post this photo was that I'm noticing that even though I use single-point AF right on the face, I am still getting a lot of soft-face pics :/ but that's another story.

    If I can find an example in my "stash" of late-afternoon lighting front-side, I'll post it too...
    Last edited by Amy_&_Eva; 04-12-2011 at 09:59 AM.

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    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    The key is to always know where your light source is. Once you understand exposure and how to compensate with your settings you can do some really great fun things. Don't be afraid of the elements. Use reflectors - have fun!

    This was on an overcast day - Can create bla lighting but there is still light:



    Then this was in full sun

    Harsh shadows - yes, but you can make it work -



    You really can make those shadows work for you. If you have a reflector those help immensely. Like here:



    Product of Nathan & Cindy

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    Posting Addict Amy_&_Eva's Avatar
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    CJ, can you describe where the reflector was in that last photo, since it's not a closeup shot...is it a giant reflector? sorry if that's a silly question.

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    Community Host Ladybugsteph's Avatar
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    Thank you so much!

    What time would you say is the best to actually be in the sunlight for photos? Like today, I plan on trying some Easter pictures with the boys. 3pm too early? Should I look for shade at that time?

    ETA: Thank you so much for posting examples too! It really helps to actually see what we're talking about
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    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy_&_Eva View Post
    CJ, can you describe where the reflector was in that last photo, since it's not a closeup shot...is it a giant reflector? sorry if that's a silly question.
    It was in the left hand corner and it was a large reflector.

    You can see it here in this image:



    Product of Nathan & Cindy

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    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladybugsteph View Post
    Thank you so much!

    What time would you say is the best to actually be in the sunlight for photos? Like today, I plan on trying some Easter pictures with the boys. 3pm too early? Should I look for shade at that time?

    ETA: Thank you so much for posting examples too! It really helps to actually see what we're talking about
    Truthfully - Early morning just as the sun is coming up and the last hour half or 2 of daylight. With the sun closer to the horizon you have less shadows. However! - I shoot all times of the day. You can use shade or learn to play with your settings and toys to make it work for you. I find that working with the client and their schedule helps keep me busy. I did this shot around 12-1 pm. Looked at where the sun was and played with settings:



    and this was around 2:30-3pm



    The first shot the sun was behind me and directly on her. I really wanted the overlook of the city and her back side profile of her and dress. This one I had to work hard to keep it dark so not to blow the white of the dress and yet not too dark to under expose.

    The bottom shot I had to use the hill to shade some and positioned them so the sun came in 45 degree angle on the right. It helped shade & yet give enough light. Not quite back lit - but I could see the city below and them climbing a hill. Yea - no catch lights, but hey, I still like the shot. I had a reflector near me to lighten the shadows slightly.


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    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    I forgot to add that with Jenny up on the log in both shots with the reflector - I did have DH fire off the Flash through the reflector. So I did have some ocf filler with both of them.


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    Posting Addict Jeffininer's Avatar
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    I LOVE evening light!! It is just so pretty here. I haven't had much luck with morning light, but it's just not something I've practiced with a lot. I would say venture out and play! Nothing will be ruined if you just practice. See what works best for you and don't be afraid to try out new things.

    The only type of light I dislike (with a passion) is harsh/direct sun. I can't work with it well and tend to over expose large portions.
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    I love to shoot in the last hour before sunset. The light is soft enough that you can have people look directly toward it (to light their face) but not have them squint.

    However, w/ that said ... I hardly EVER get to shoot at that time (or around sun rise either) so ... like Cindy pointed out, you just have to learn to work with what you get. Reflectors, fill flash, and shade are always your friends.

    Best,
    GiGi

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