Since I did not post last week I combined pictures 5 & 6 of the photo challenge with the topics “Love” and “Family”.
I took this picture of my dogs Ice and Raven playing with my phone and edited it with Snapseed. They are what I love and they are family. And clearly they love each other, too. Ice is a little ruffled from playing. I am glad I got at least one picture where Raven wasn’t all blurry. She’s has high puppy energy and loves to go fast. She’s now seventeen weeks old. We got both of our pooches at the local humane society.
I created the 52 week photo challenge at the beginning of the year. Each week there is a different topic and a different photo to be taken. You can read more about the photo challenge here: https://anikamcfarland.com/photo-challenge/
Here is my photo challenge picture number 3 for the 52 week photo challenge with the subject “Dessert”.
My husband just celebrated his birthday and wanted an ice cream cake. So I went out and bought him this one. And took the great opportunity to take photos of it. Certainly we ate a slice right after I got done taking photos, since my husband waited patiently for me.
The challenge that I faced was that it was close to dinner time and the natural light was getting low. To help with the light I opened all the blinds and curtains and let in as much light as I could. Then I adjusted the white balance to combat the tint of the evening light. Sometimes you might want that golden light, but here it would have been too yellow. I use Kelvin in my camera to adjust the white balance, but yours might have different settings.
Today I am exploring how to use natural light in photography. I compiled eight simple steps to help guide you through the process.
Working with natural light in photography is very rewarding, if you know a few things on how to use it efficiently. Let’s face it. Not everybody has a professional photo studio, thus natural lighting is the most accessible solution to great photos.
There is a way to do it and there are some things you should avoid. Pretty simple, once you get the hang of it.
I have done my share of mistakes. Even recently while shooting pictures for this website. Until I started realizing what I did. I will have to wait for warmer weather for a re-shoot. Since right now we are in a windchill advisory and Tuesday morning is supposed to be -30 F with the windchill….way to cold for an outdoor shoot. But natural light is not only outside. There is plenty of it right inside your home. You can use these tips with people or like me with dogs or other pets. I just adore the newest addition of the family, Raven. She’s now 10 weeks old and growing like a weed.
1. Start with simple lighting situations
Don’t over-complicate things. Focus on only one lighting situation. Have one source of light and position the subject to face the light. Be almost in between the light and your subject.
2. For outdoor shoots, shoot in open shade
Open shade is the shade you get from buildings and structures. Or shoot on an overcast day. Avoid direct sunlight, as it casts harsh shadows. And if you shoot photos of people they will squint being in the direct sun.
3. Use catchlights
Catchlights are the reflections of the light in your subjects eyes. They give the eyes this little bit of sparkle.
4. Avoid dappled shade
Dappled shade is the shade you get underneath a tree, where spots of light come through. These turn often into blown highlights, where some parts of the picture are too light.
5. Avoid several different light sources
The reason for avoiding these, is that you can only set one color temperature or white balance at your camera, not several. If you use several different light sources, like natural light and a lamp then you get different color temperatures, which result in a color cast on the photo.
6. Use the golden hour
The golden hour is the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset, when the light is soft and angled.
7. Choose a low aperture indoors
Set your f-stop or aperture low. It will do two things: It helps you use all the light available indoors and it gives you a shallow depth of field, where your subject is in focus and the background blurry.
8. Use a reflector
Use a reflector to bounce natural light back on your subject. Thus avoiding shadows that are too deep.
These are simple tips that you can use anywhere you have natural light. Even inside your home. Just get close to your windows and turn off your lights and you’ll see what I mean.