Lighting can be one of the most striking elements in a photograph, but it can very subtle. Using light in both of these ways can create amazing photos. However, light is a fickle thing and can easily make your photo look off.
If you’re like me, you’re not really one for indoor photography. So to keep in nature with the blog, we’re going to focus on using natural light. There are tons a techniques with using natural light, but I don’t want to give you to many things to think about. So here is what I consider to be the most important.
1. Getting perfect light takes dedication
There are certain times of the day that are better for using the sun to your advantage… sunrise, sunset, golden hour, etc. One thing that many people who are getting into photography tend to think is “I’ll go shoot at my convenience.” This type of thinking will hinder your skills, so schedule yourself to go out when there is cool lighting and then do it. Get up before sunrise, or whatever you need to do. Also, the weather changes, so be ready to chase your shot at a moments notice.
2. Natural diffusers
The sun is our major natural light source, but nature has also given us a great natural diffuser… Clouds! Shooting on overcast days can create mood, and can also soften that harsh sunlight if that’s what your after. Again, be ready ready for that cloudy day.
3. The sun as backlight
This is something that looks great if done well. For this technique, you’ll have to shoot around the ‘golden hour’ which is the hour-and-a-half-ish before the sun gets low enough to start the sunset. To do this, you should be facing toward the sun, with the sun behind your subject. Just be mindful with your exposure and aperture settings, because that’s a lot of light coming into your lens.
This is what I meant earlier when I mention light can be striking. Find places where light shines through something like clouds, holes in barn walls, etc. This will create rays of light that look great in dark places or for creating shadows.
Experiment with lighting too! That’s one of the easiest ways to find out what works and what doesn’t. When to go out, and when not to. Keep at it!