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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.
Okay, here's another tip for shooting in bright sunlight. Let's say you're walking around and you don't happen to have a diffusion disk with you, the next best thing to do is to take your subject and move them off into what's called open shade. >> Okay. >> So we've placed Josh here into open shade, and look at, look at his face right now. What do you notice? I noticed that there's no sunlight. >> Right no sunlight but it's nice and soft and even right. And your camera will expose that, so let's take some shots. Nice shots, as long as they're facing toward the light but standing in the shade you'll get nice illumination.
>> This. >> Let's take a look. Yeah, that looks pretty good. >> Okay, yeah. >> Nice, even on his face. It looks pretty good but now let's say you want to punch it up just a little bit. >> Okay. >> You want to bring your reflector with you. So this is a reflection, circular reflection disk, and they come in these little zippered cases. And just take it out, this one happens to be Gold and Silver on one side and silver on the other. Now, gold typically is for warming things up and silver is for kind of cooling things off.
But they both reflect. Now, this happens to be a combination of gold and silver so it would be a nice skin tone on him. And what I'm going to do is back up into the sun. You'll stay there. >> All right. >> I'm going to back up into the sun, find some sun for this reflector and then bounce it onto his face. Now, look at that. >> Wow, that's a difference. >> What do you notice? >> His face is just light and soft and his eyes are popping. >> His face is lit up, his eyes are brightened. He has a nice catch light in his eye. >> Yes. Nice, Josh. All right, yeah, look up like that.
That's good. >> So I'm bouncing the sunlight that I'm finding, outside the shade back into his face. >> And it's really making his eyes pop. Nice, Josh. >> An that darker background is very nice to because it's not distracting. >> We're popping him out of the background. >> Hm. Okay. >> Okay, let's take a look. >> How do you like these? >> Good, good composition too. >> Thank you.
>> Very nice. Those look great. Okay. So that was great for putting someone into open shade. >> Okay. >> Now, here's another little tip. Let's say you're in open shade. But you just want to put a little brightening under their face. >> Okay. >> You would take the silver side of the reflector. This is better in shade. >> And just hold it kind of close from your face. And it just brightens things up just a little bit. >> >> It's a different look. >> I see. >> The light is still nice and soft and even on his face. >> The intense look is good.
It's good. >> But, it's just a little bit brighter. A little bit happier looking. >> Mm-hm. >> And the closer I hold this the brighter it's going to be. >> Okay. >> So you want to make sure you crop out the reflector. >> Okay, great. >> Okay. Let's take a look at those. >> So, I see a little bit of the reflector, but you said to crop that out. >> Yep, good. That's nice, and those are just a different look from what you had before... >> Yes! >> ... with the, the gold reflection on his face.
>> Okay. >> Okay, now. >> Yes. >> What we're going to do is we'll move Josh into the sunlight over here. So Josh, if you want to step over here. >> And okay, here's what we're going to do. First we still, he's in the sunlight, but his back is towards the sun. >> Hm-mm. >> And it's about 3:30 in the afternoon, so it's a little bit lower in the sky. >> Yes. >> And what you see is a nice rim light around his hair and his shoulders. >> Hm-mm. >> Josh, step up just a little bit. There you go now you see more sunlight around his hair and shoulders that pops him out of the background.
>> Yes. >> But his face still looks dark. >> Mm-hm. >> So, I'm going to reflect some light back into his face. I think I'll use the silver gold side again. >> Okay. >> And I'll step back here and find some sunlight. And now pop it back into his face. Now, you've got the proper exposure on his face >> And he has that nice rim light around his hair and his shoulders. >> I see. Yeah, the backlight is really nice. >> And you could hold the reflector up and find the light.
There we go. (INAUDIBLE) That's nice. So we've got the nice room light popping him out of the darker background and showing off his hair and his shoulders. >> : Great look great look >> : And now I'm just reflecting this light right back into his face. Looking good. Wow, his eyes really look green now. >> Yeah, they do. They are popping right now. Okay. >> Okay. Let's take a look. We got this one.
>> Wow. >> Those really look more dramatic, don't they? >> Yeah. Uh-huh. I really like that one. >> So how do you feel. >> I feel that I've just gained the whole skill set right now, and I want to go out. >> (LAUGH). Yeah, so now you know how to control the lights by diffusing it or placing someone in open spade or reflecting light back into their face. >> I am now intimidated to use natural light to take my pictures now. >> Oooh. >> Oooh, that's great.
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