It’s All About Lighting

While I’m not a high tech photographer, I do shoot as often as I can, and learn as much as I can wh

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en I have a speck of time. Last week I caught a quick blog post on using natural light at Digital Photography School, a photography tutorial site I’ve really come to rely on. Then on Sunday I was charged with taking “mugshots” of each of the members of Wee and Teenager’s 4H club; the content of the post led me to choose a whiteboard right by a window as the setting for the shots. I played around a bit with positioning myself, and found the optimum spot to be dead-on center in front of my wee subjects. The natural light flowing from the main-light of the window to the right resulted in a pretty progression of light to dark, leading to the soft-toned sculpted shots I ended with.

It was a great exercise in using natural light. Looking back through some of our photos, I noticed Teenager achieved a similar effect a few years ago when she shot this photo of Wee. The face is framed, softly bordered through the use of the natural light source shining in on the subject from the right side. Neat composition too, Teenager! Photographer Nicole Templeton of Crimson Chickadee Photography uses direct sunlight in this photo – which we incidentally featured in our Out West Mother’s Day tribute in the May/June issue – to create a sunshiny, bright frame around her subjects.

And then my eyes beheld this!

Dainya, managing editor of Western Horse Review recently shot this beauty of her daughter and pony in the late afternoon, a light she told me she loves to shoot in. “It gives a warmth like no other time of the day. I also love Alberta skies, and the way they reflect the light within the vast clouds.”

Her strategy: “With this shot, I got low to he ground to get the feeling that the light was pouring down. I wanted the sun to be present in the frame, but not so much that it washed out everything else, so I kept it in the distant corner. Shooting it in sepia really brings out the highlights and definition that is often lost in colour shots.”

All of that combined just happened to capture such a sweet moment. I’m in love with the softness and again, that light sculpting that little tiny frame of her daughter. Lovely.

Just one more.

Here, photographer Joan Davis uses not daylight, but moonlight to silhouette her subject in this shot which the Equine Photographers Network named their Photo of the Week.

As Direct Photography School teaches, “the great thing about natural light, is that there are virtually countless ways to direct it in this manner, depending on the position of the sun or the light source (if indoors) and of course on the position of yourself and your subject.”

Good points to remember when shooting in arenas and outside spaces. If you’d like to read the full DPS post catch it here: 5 Tips to Controlling Natural Light.

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