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In the Douglas Kirkland on Photography series, well-known photographer Douglas Kirkland explores a variety of real-world photographic scenarios, sharing technique insights and critiquing the results.
In this installment of the series, Douglas explains how he works with natural light to create beautiful portraits. He shows how to make subtle changes to the light to improve its qualities and make the most of the environment he's working in. He reviews the images he considers the best of the day and also shows examples of how he uses Photoshop to complete his workflow and finish the images.
Hi! I am Douglas Kirkland and I would like to welcome you to our series on photography. Today I am going to be talking about portraits done with natural light. One of the reasons I like to work with natural light is that it's everywhere. And here is a picture I took of Brooke Shields a number of years ago in New York, just in the city street. All I did is had a little whiteboard and reflected it into her eyes. That's natural light. It was all there. Julie Christie, another example. We'd just finished lunch in Boston and it's just the light from the window coming in, just bringing the camera in. It's your relationship that's always important as well as the lighting.
Jessica Capshaw, again, all very simple. She came into the room. We had a skylight and some window lights, and I just saw how wonderful she looked and I said "Please Jessica, go over near the white wall there." She did, I kept talking with her and shooting, and that again is the process. It's the light was there, just get the picture. Margaret Made is another example, a little different. I was actually doing a portrait session with her. So I had her in front of a window. So that's what you see out in the background, the out of focus trees, and I brought a very simple LED light in just to use as a fill light.
But what's really cool here is today, we're going to take you behind the scenes and let you see our process as we work with Natalie. It's pretty exciting and I think you're going to really enjoy it, because you're going to see how we sculpt and make images using available light.
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