Thursday, 21 November 2013

Natural Light Photography Tips

Natural Light Photography Tips

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Natural Light Photography Tips

Posted: 20 Nov 2013 04:36 PM PST

Natural lighting in photos can give off a pure vibe that artificial lighting often has trouble providing for you. There are several techniques you can use when using natural light photography. The lighting of the sun can create many stunning spectrums of colors throughout the day that could result in beautiful photos. However, with this in mind you shouldn't just run outside and start snapping as many photos as you can without putting some thought behind them first. There are some aspects of taking photos using natural light that you should probably be aware of.

natural light photo

Natural Light flows through the shattered and broken windows at the Packard Plant in Detroit, Michigan.

Natural light can be tricky sometimes, so you may have to toy around with your cameras settings to get the exact lighting you're looking for. Most digital cameras come with different settings that are beneficial to use when attempting to take pictures in natural light. Natural light can be changed using your cameras settings in many ways depending on what it looks like outside – if it is unbearably sunny out, you probably don't want to use flash. However, if the image you are looking to produce looks better with the flash, then by all means, use it.

Get used to trying out different ways of using natural light, because this is the best way to figure out what kind of pictures you think look best. Lighting is a fun aspect of photography to play with, even when you're not sure what you're doing. Experimenting with natural light is a fun way to find techniques that you enjoy using.

How the Time of Day Affects Natural Light

As you probably already know, different times of day means the sun is in different parts of the sky. The lighting during whatever time of day you choose to take photos will determine where the shadows in the photo lay.

photography in natural light

Had I taken this shot just 15 minutes earlier (or later) the natural light from the sun wouldn't have given me the shadows or reflections off the rocks I was looking to for.

Shadows from natural light alone can make a photo look stunning or awkward – for example, say the lighting of the sun was coming from directly above your subject. If this subject was a girl, she might look like she has a goatee from the shadow of her chin onto her neck. Maybe your female subject actually does have a goatee, but if she doesn't I don't imagine you (or she) wants to make it seem like she does. That's awkward. On the other hand, if you take a photo of the same girl around the time the sun was setting, the natural light will be more golden at this time giving her fresh and glowing skin. It all depends on the techniques you, your camera, and your subject can work with using the lighting.

Using Shadows with Natural Light

Shadowing in natural light photography can often set "moods" of the photo. Heavy shadowing techniques in photos can depict a dark, heavy mood. If you limit the colors in the photo, it can be seen as even darker.

natural light shadows

The combination of the light coming from the sun and the shadow of Shea underneath him, along with the heavy, graduating shade from under the overpass create a 3-D-like sense in this photo.

Also, light shadowing effects can provide a more happy mood and also provide a sense of "realism" by making the photo seem more 3-D. Lighting and shadows using natural light can be played around with to set the mood that you're looking for.

Shooting Indoors With Natural Light

You don't have to be outside to use natural light photography, either. Techniques you can use for using natural light can be found inside, too (side note: these techniques are the best option for vampire photographers who melt in direct sunlight.) For instance, take pictures of your subject near a window.

indoor natural light

This self-portrait of me was taken in front of a window on a sunny day. I exposed for the highlights on my face to ensure the shadows would be dark.

If the window itself isn't generating enough light, try placing a mirror in a spot where it can reflect the light. This technique is helpful on really hot days where, if your subject is a person, your subject won't sweat and potentially ruin the effect you were going for. The same goes for cold weather; if your intention wasn't to photograph an ice cube, then you may want to consider using techniques for natural light.

Cloudy Days Diffuse Natural Light

Natural light doesn't necessarily have to be taken when it's sunny outside. Cloud coverage can often provide adequate lighting for subjects that may need a paler natural light, or even darker lighting, depending on what kind of cloud coverage we're talking about. You won't get as heavy of shadows when taking pictures in overcast weather, but depending on the mood you're trying to set that might be just what you need.

The result of your photo while trying natural light photography may also have something to do with the background of your photo. If it's sunny outside, but snow is covering the ground, the lighting in your photo may appear much brighter than if it was just green grass. Some interesting techniques for this scenario is to place a dark subject in the snow for high contrast using natural light.

cloudy day light

This steel structure in Detroit shows well with soft light on a cloudy day. The clouds also set a stark, dark mood to the photo.

Natural light photography has many techniques that you can use to manipulate natural light. Some of the most striking and beautiful photos come from using natural light. If you're a beginner to using natural light in your photos, try out several different techniques. Write them down so you can keep trying them out and finding out what's best for you! That's what photography is all about!

About the Author
Tim Kainu is a photographer, digital artist and graphic designer currently based in the little town of Berkley, Michigan. You can find him and see more of his work at his website which offers beginner photography tips. He classifies himself as an unconventional, non-traditional photographer where digital is his medium of choice. He likes to create images that would be impossible to create without the use of digital manipulation.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

How to Use Flash Photography on a Jet Flying at Over 450 MPH (Video)

Posted: 20 Nov 2013 02:49 PM PST

Do you have a story about your most challenging photo shoot of all time? Every photographer has a horror story about photographing fast-moving children or animals, hard-to-please clients, or dimly-lit venues. But imagine trying to properly light and photograph a jet speeding through the air above you. That’s just the task that stock photographer Yuri Arcurs was faced with:

Lighting a subject as enormous and distant from the camera as a low-flying jet requires a significant amount of power and a high number of strobes. For this shoot, a trunk full of Profoto power packs were utilized in order to achieve 24,000 watts.


Arcurs set up his lighting on an active airport runway, where, between the jet’s low passes, commercial planes were taking off. Through communication with the pilot, he readied himself for each flyover, with assistants tending to his army of battery packs and light stands.


Because the jet was traveling at around 500 kilometers per hour, Arcurs had to time his pictures perfectly to frame the shot just as the aircraft passed through the area lit up by the strobes. To complicate matters, the Hasselblad camera that he uses has a one second shutter delay, so careful planning and timing of the shutter release was crucial. He used a wide angle lens to ensure the jet was in the shot. He also made use of a custom made monopod, the Yuri Arcurs SteadyPod to stabilize the hefty camera and lens.


After many frustrating trials, and with only a few more chances left to get the shot, Arcurs decided to try panning. He focused on the incoming jet and followed along with it before it reached the desired position, pressing the shutter in anticipation of the jet reaching the lighting. This method proved to be successful. He finally got a perfectly framed and lit shot.


At first glance, images like Arcurs’s photo of the flying jet don’t seem particularly complicated. But seeing the logistics that go into such involved shoots give a sense of appreciation for the varying conditions photographers work under to complete their assignments.

Go to full article: How to Use Flash Photography on a Jet Flying at Over 450 MPH (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Touching Photo Album of Man Finding His Dog in Tornado Wreckage

Posted: 20 Nov 2013 01:17 PM PST

When a tornado touched down in Illinois earlier this week, it hit the city of Washington hardest of all, leaving devastation in its path. But out of the rubble—literally—one family found something to be thankful for. Jon Byler Dann and his family were huddled in their basement, safely sheltered but missing one family member—their dog Maggie—as the storm destroyed their house overhead.

When they emerged, everything was gone and Maggie was nowhere to be seen. But more than 24 hours later, while searching through the rubble for anything salvageable, someone heard a faint bark. They immediately began to pull aside the debris and found Maggie buried alive underneath the rubble, wrapped in a large piece of carpeting. The 11-year-old dog was obviously traumatized and suffering a dislocated hip, but alive against all odds.

The album below depicts Jon and Maggie’s tearful reunion (for those of you reading this by email, the photo album can be seen here):

"I felt intense relief and elation but also just panic,” Jon told The Weather Channel. “I’m very thankful and blessed to have my wife and my children. And finding my dog today was just unreal.”

Go to full article: Touching Photo Album of Man Finding His Dog in Tornado Wreckage

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

The True Awkwardness of Posed Party Photos (Video)

Posted: 20 Nov 2013 11:37 AM PST

So you’re scrolling through Facebook and you see one of your friends added 20 new photos from their “epic” party last Saturday. As you look through them, you notice how they all seem to be captured at that perfect moment. In one photo, Jamie’s about to land a kiss on Derek while Adam’s doing a handstand in the back and Jordan’s playing air guitar. How is it that all these photos were all taken at just the right moment? Well don’t be fooled. What you’re seeing may be more posed than portrayed. Check out this montage of party goers who mistook this videographer as a photographer:

It only takes a moment to put on a smile (or a frown). Not to say that the people in this montage aren’t having a great time, but their expressions in each filmed moment are partially fake and it reminds us how easily photos can misconstrue the true scene. A smiley friend on Facebook may not truly be happy. Conversely, someone may post a sad photo just to garner attention.

Photos only capture a single moment, and we can’t always judge an entire person or situation by a single moment in time. Some moments can accurately describe a great deal of time, while others can lie about any truth that the scene may appear to hold. In this case, however, it simply reminds us how goofy people can be when it comes to how they want to be portrayed or when put on the spot. Whether it be at a party, the mall, or just at home while cooking, nobody wants that “horrible photo of me” to end up on the internet.

awkward party pose poses posing video montage

The thing about a photo is you can never be sure what happened before or after it was taken

Think twice next time someone points a camera at you because once the moment’s captured, you can’t take it back.

Go to full article: The True Awkwardness of Posed Party Photos (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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