Being a natural light photographer, I am always on the hunt for the perfect lighting. When you are working with a natural light source, you have to train your eyes to find the light, to see how it will affect your photo. Over the years, I have learned some tips and tricks that would help me in any lighting situation.
5 Ways to Find the Light
Week 35: August 24-31
1. Find the Light, then think about your subject. Before I start shooting, I like to take my subject and have them move around in the spot that I selected for their session. By having them face different directions, I can see how the light highlights their features, if I am seeing any catchlights in the eyes, and if there are any unflattering shadows. By taking the time out to do this before I start photographing them, I save myself some trouble in the end. It also helps me figure out the kind of look I am going for in the end result.
2. Pull out the reflector. If you aren’t getting the ideal light on your subject, you may have to drag the reflector out. This will help you bounce the light and highlight your subject. You will also eliminate shadows and get the light into their eyes.
3. Look for shade. A common misconception is that the best light will be out in the open with the sun shining down. All this leads to is squinting, shadows, and blown out areas in your photo. When you move to a shaded area, your light becomes filtered which is more flattering to your subject and eliminates the concerns that arise with direct sunlight.
4. Go to the window. If you are stuck inside, remember to go to the window for lighting! When using window lighting, make sure you position your subject to the brightest spot on the window to take advantage of all the light.
5. Shoot RAW. Every since I made the switch to shooting in RAW, I have seen a huge difference in my photos. RAW is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor when you take a photo. One of the best things about shooting in RAW is that you can recover blown highlights or an underexposed photo. Point and shoot users don’t feel left out! Most point and shoot cameras these days have the capability to shoot in RAW. Consult your manual if you are not sure how to change this setting.
Your challenge this week is to find the light, whether you are indoors or outdoors. Take a look at how the light affects your subject and by how moving around can transform your photo. Make sure you share your photos on Facebook!