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Defining the challenge

From: Photo Assignment: Natural Light Portraits

Video: Defining the challenge

Okay, well let's dig into our Natural Light Portrait Photo Assignment. What I am going to do is prep you for a photo shoot right now. In other words, I am going to talk a little bit about natural lighting and show you a few things. Now, right here as we're looking at the shot of Stephanie, this is a natural light portrait. It was taken in diffused light. No flash. No additional lights. We didn't put anything on stands or anything like that, just a nice diffused light portrait.

Defining the challenge

Okay, well let's dig into our Natural Light Portrait Photo Assignment. What I am going to do is prep you for a photo shoot right now. In other words, I am going to talk a little bit about natural lighting and show you a few things. Now, right here as we're looking at the shot of Stephanie, this is a natural light portrait. It was taken in diffused light. No flash. No additional lights. We didn't put anything on stands or anything like that, just a nice diffused light portrait.

The thing about natural light is that you don't always have the opportunity to choose the kind of lighting you want, and this is especially true when you're working at events and parties and things like that. Sometimes light is forced upon you, and of course, the light that we all dread as photographers is outdoors in the bright sunlight. This is midday light coming down at the top of her head. And what happens is we get these very bright spots, like on her forehead. The eyes tend to be in darkness and shadow.

The nose gets illuminated because the nose sticks out from the face and then we've got this hot spot on her chin, but her mouth is in shadow. And because the light is coming from a severe angle, remember angled light increases texture, and so then we're getting more texture in the skin. We're seeing more skin surface. Let's compare it to the diffused light photo. We'll just put them up side-by-side here. So you notice in diffused light, especially when the light is kind of coming forward and it's much softer, we don't see nearly as much skin texture as we do in a harsh angled light, right here.

So there is a big difference. Also, in the diffused lighting, especially lighting that's coming into the face, you'll see how the eyes are a lot more open. They are not in shadow. And the same with the mouth and then we don't have any of those terrible hot spots, like we have over here, that just really draw attention to the wrong areas of the face. So what do you do when you want something more like this over here, the diffused lighting, but you have to work in lighting that's more like this? This harsh lighting.

Well, what you can do - let's change pictures here - is that you can use some light modifiers. And this is one of the things that we're going to talk about when we're out in the field. Again we're in harsh lighting, but what we've done now is we've used some light modifiers, in this case photo discs. And I am going to show you how these photo discs work. They are terrific. They are collapsible discs. They have many different surfaces. They have silver and gold and white and so you can reflect the light in these different intensities, and you can bounce light up into the face.

You can hold them up over the head, up over here, and you can diffuse the light that's coming in. You can use them in combination. You can diffuse light coming from the top here and then use another disc to bounce light into the face, but it allows you to work in these harsh lighting conditions here, but you don't have as harsh of a rendering of the face. So this is very nice. So this is the kind of stuff that we're going to talk about, when we are out in the field and then when we come back here to analyze these shots.

So I just want to get you prepared for the photo shoot. You can already get your camera out and stuff and follow along in the next movie. And then join me back when we come here to the computer, and we look at what we did out there.

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Photo Assignment: Natural Light Portraits

6 video lessons · 22753 viewers

Derrick Story
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