Photography is an art, and just like any other art, you need the ideal tools to attain perfect results for a job. As a photographer, therefore, you will have to use the right camera and gear to take outstanding shots. But that’s not all. In photography, light is also an essential factor that can break or make a shot.
Even though the light from a flash gets the job done the majority of times, there are times when all you need is natural light. The good thing about using natural light is that as long as you are creative enough, you can achieve amazing results.
It goes without saying that there will also be times when you face challenging situations when using natural light. And while you cannot control the sun, you can still turn such situations into the most beautiful capture moments. Here are five fantastic ways to use natural light for the best photography:
1. Golden hour
The golden hour is simply the glorious but short natural light moment that occurs right before the sun goes down. This period is valued by the majority of photographers because you can take breathtaking photos using the light, with the sun in the background.
For the best shots, aim to take photos of your subject with the sun behind them. You can also take photos of your clients with the sun shining directly on their faces, but to get a great outcome, you will have to be a real artist with how you take your photos.
It’s recommended that you explore the target location the day before so that you can determine the right angles for shooting, as well as the optimal time for taking the photos. That way, you can arrive early as well as ask your client to arrive at the perfect time so that they won’t miss the ‘golden opportunity.
2. Diffused light
Natural light can be harsh on your photography sessions, especially when there is super bright light. To solve this problem and get rid of the dark shadows, you should consider using a diffuser or reflector. If, for example, you are taking a photo in the harsh afternoon light, holding a diffuser a few feet over the scene should get the job done.
There are some photographers who claim that clouds act as natural diffusers, but there are some considerations to make. Even though clouds come in handy at reducing the effect of very bright light, they can, at times, dull colors. That’s why shooting on a sunny day while using a diffuser might be the best option.
3. Direct light
If you like to be a little bit more architectural or sculptural with your shots, why not try direct light? Such light is available in the late morning or early afternoons. If you want to know that you are standing in direct light, confirm that there is a complete shape of your shadow on the ground. Even though direct light can be quite harsh at times, it is the best when it comes to creating interesting blocks and lines of light.
4. Evening light
As soon as the sun sets, there is a light that is usually the result of a reflection of the sky from beyond the horizon. This light is usually blue and moody, and while it may not be the best for taking outstanding photos, you can add ‘natural light’ to your scene in the form of tungsten bulbs. In such situations, you can use a long exposure, especially if you want to achieve a romantic and dreamy rendition.
There are quite a lot of photographers who would not categorize candlelight to be natural light, but this kind of light creates a natural lighting theme, just like the light from a fire would do. When the dark sets in, that does not mean that you postpone all your shots for the next day.
When used in the right manner, candlelight can save the night! To give the photos a timeless quality, make them black and white, taking into consideration that this is the most appropriate setting for the soft glow of candlelight. It’s especially amazing to know that candlelight illuminates your subject in a more appealing way when compared to a flash or video light.
There are several interesting and effective ways to use natural light for photography, but the ones mentioned in this article will go a long way. Not only will you improve your photography results when you pay attention to the natural lighting tips mentioned in this article, but you will also enjoy the process of taking the perfect shot.