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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.
Ha, this looks nice. Got some great window light here. I think you're going to look fab in your red shirt next to this window. How about like right in there. That looks pretty good. Okay, may be get close to the window. That looks nice. Let's see. Window light has been a source of inspiration for traditional artists for centuries. When they painted portraits of people. Still life images, and the interiors of magnificent works of architecture. The quality of window light I'm referring to is the soft, indirect light that comes in through a window during the middle of the day. This is different from the hard, direct light that can also come through a window.
Direct light can be just as unflattering indoors as outdoors. I positioned Josh near a frosted window in a hallway, and the soft light enveloped his face, producing a soft side light that resulted in a portrait with dimension and form. I experimented with angle and distance, and because it wasn't too bright, I kept Josh at the window and adjusted my position to capture different shots. Window light can be a very convenient light to shoot in. Especially when the weather outdoors isn't comfortable and, perhaps, your subject wants to stay inside.
Think about the windows in your home. Do you have sheer curtains? How does the light enter the room? Experiment by placing your subject close to the window and then farther away. Adjust your shooting position to capture a variety of angles, you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.
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