Let’s face it, when you’re first starting out in the photography business you have wonderful dreams of owning all the ‘best’ equipment but your budget dictates just how much money you can put towards it. You already know that if you don’t have light, you simply cannot make a photo so let’s see what you can do as a starting photographer to produce well lit images.
In this series of articles we’ll be delving into identifying what your light sources are and how to use them effectively. Natural light has been around from the beginning of time and will always be an available free resource as long as it exists. Here are some basics on natural light that you might want to consider.
Using Free Light
Many people start out by using what available light there is and one absolutely free source of great lighting in nature is the sun. Even on a rainy or cloudy day, this light is wonderful to shoot with because the clouds become a great diffuser creating more even lighting with less shadows.
Avoid Direct Sun
At times the bright sun can become your enemy and produce harsh shadows, squinted eyes and blown out details. I suggest you find yourself a shady spot and use the more diffused light from the shade to light your subject more evenly. Shooting at the right time of the day, the golden hours (either one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset), produces incredibly stunning images.
Using Window Light
Window light is another great source to take advantage of. As long as the bright sun is not coming through the window, you have another diffused lighting situation. Using window light can produce some amazingly powerful effects that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Create A Softer Light
You can also add a white light weight sheet over the window to create a large soft light. This works just like a studio “soft box” that most studios own and use on a daily basis. We will talk more about them in a future post.
We will check out what readily available artificial light sources you have on hand that you can use to take your photography business up a notch. It can help you decide where you need to invest your hard earned dollars. For now you can use these techniques above and receive great results that look professional.