Up and Running with Lighting: Natural Light
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Working with a combination of diffusion and reflected light


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Up and Running with Lighting: Natural Light

with Erin Manning

Video: Working with a combination of diffusion and reflected light

Diffusing harsh light falling upon your subject can definitely soften the shadows while keeping the overall image bright. But sometimes you need that extra little kick of light from reflector to brighten things up. (SOUND) This looks great but I'm thinking probably a little reflector might help too, so Heather if you could step in. Thank you. It's great to have some assistance, help out. Woo, that's nice. So now we've kind of knocked down that contrasting light. And one, two and three.

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with Lighting: Natural Light
41m 2s Beginner Jun 12, 2013

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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.

Topics include:
  • Learning to identify the quality of light
  • Avoiding color casts
  • Setting exposure, white balance, and ISO
  • Finding good natural light
  • Reflecting and diffusing light
  • Understanding lighting ratios
Subject:
Photography
Author:
Erin Manning

Working with a combination of diffusion and reflected light

Diffusing harsh light falling upon your subject can definitely soften the shadows while keeping the overall image bright. But sometimes you need that extra little kick of light from reflector to brighten things up. (SOUND) This looks great but I'm thinking probably a little reflector might help too, so Heather if you could step in. Thank you. It's great to have some assistance, help out. Woo, that's nice. So now we've kind of knocked down that contrasting light. And one, two and three.

Right to camera, very nice. Now give me a little bit of 'tude on this one. So you're looking down, you're looking up real slow. One, two and look up. Using both a diffuser and a reflector simultaneously gives you more options for controlling the light and creating a successful image. In this image I had Lauren hold the diffuser over Josh's head, and Heather stepped in with a silver gold reflector to bounce a little more light into Josh's face. The location of the sun in the sky an the light falling upon your subject, determines the position of the diffuser and reflector.

In this example, it's about 1:30 in the afternoon, and the diffuser needs to be placed between the harsh sun and Josh. So, Lauren is holding the diffuser above Josh's head, and Heather has a reflector position on the opposite side, reflecting some light back into Josh's face. Now you can see the different effects created by reflecting, diffusing and combining the two. Every lighting situation varies, so experiment and see what works best for you.

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