Up and Running with Lighting: Natural Light

with Erin Manning
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Up and Running with Lighting: Natural Light
Video duration: 0s 41m 2s Beginner


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

Exploring the structure of this course

- Whether you're a beginning photographer with a compact camera, or a photo enthusiast with a DSLR, this course is designed to inspire, inform, and help you create beautiful photographs using natural light. Now, it may seem unusual to begin a course about natural light in a studio, but before we get into the specifics about light, it's helpful to understand a few important controls on your camera. We'll start with the basics of exposure, and I'll show you how to use your camera's settings to get the best result possible in a variety of natural light conditions.

Next, we'll go outside and I'll demonstrate different ways to work with a model in various lighting conditions, using tools to modify the light and capture the best possible photograph. And finally, whether you're a photo beginner or a more advanced enthusiast, I've found it can be very helpful to watch and learn alongside others with similar questions and challenges. So you'll be coming with me, one of my students, and our model Josh, on a natural light photo shoot. Working with natural light can be a lot of fun, relatively easy, and definitely not intimidating.

Once you're equipped to understand and control the light, I'm confident you'll find your images improving with each shot.

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