Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Natural Light Portraiture
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.
I'm Douglas Kirkland and I would like to welcome you to our series on photography. Today I'm going to be talking about portraits done with natural light. We're going to take you behind the scenes and let you see our process as we work with Natalie. One of the first things I do when I go on location is I look at the natural light, I look to see what's there, and I will only modify this as necessary. There is a naturalness about this light. It has all the elements. The light is coming from slightly behind, but then it's reflecting off of this whit ewall back on Natalie's face.
All of those elements, they are creating an image. I love to watch natural light, as this is, because it's ever changing. But we also help it by having a device like this, which gives us this beautiful soft light. I am shooting it 2.8 at 500 for right now and 100 ISO. And you get images like this. This is the image I fall in love with. I love it because again, it's the single light that we had to a place where you get this nice cheekbone effect, and of course, the magic in the eyes.
This is where the magic of photography comes from, especially photography that I care about, made with natural light.
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