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In this course, photographer and educator Erin Manning shows beginning photographers how to appreciate and work with natural light. First Erin takes a look at the qualities of light, from softness to direction to color, and details the camera settings that help you get the most out of the scene's available light. Then Erin works together with a student to shoot a natural-light portrait, employing inexpensive accessories such as reflectors along the way.
Now that we've discussed the direction and quality of light, where do you find the best light for taking pictures? Experienced photographers know that the best natural light occurs early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is low in the sky, and the light is soft and warm. These are also the same times when most people would like to be sleeping, or sitting down to dinner with family and friends. So be aware that beautiful light may disrupt your normal schedule. Whether you're shooting landscapes or people, this quality of light offers a greater chance of capturing a beautiful and interesting image.
When I was shooting images of Josh outside near the beach in late afternoon sun, it was almost impossible to capture a bad photo. But what if you don't have the time or luxury of shooting at the most beautiful time of day? Are your chances of capturing a beautiful image, shot? Not at all. It's still possible to capture great images in the middle of the day, you just have to know what to look for.
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