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
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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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Rylee Elizabeth & Tyler Ray
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.