Natural light is simply light that comes from the sun. Light is an essential element of photography. Without light your images are dark and lifeless, with too much light your images can be too bright and overexposed with too many shadows. “Seeing” and finding the light is an important skill. We must “see” where the light is and how it interacts with our subject.
While you cannot control natural light, you can learn to use it.
There are a few examples of natural light that we’ll be learning about in my in-person workshop. I’m going to share two with you today.
What is front lighting? Front lighting is when the light source falls on the front of your subject. Using this technique will get you more consistent images because the whole subject is evenly lit.
Here’s an example of front lighting:
The eyes are the most important part of a successful portrait. A catchlight is the light that is being reflected in the eyes of your subject. Catchlights give your images depth and LIFE. The easiest way to get catchlights is to ensure that your subject is facing your light source. For indoor pictures this could be a window or open door. Outside you should look for open shade, side light or on an overcast day you can have your subject look towards the sky. Clouds and the sky make amazing catchlights.
When you have your subject positioned, look in the eyes for a catchlight. Don’t see one? Turn your subject until you do. Reflectors can also help you produce catchlights by reflecting the light towards your subject.
Lighting isn’t just important in making the eyes pop, but in every aspect of photography. It’s a major part of the photography puzzle and one you should master.
Shown below are several examples of catchlights.
Would you like to learn more? I teach beginner and advanced photography classes. This and many more topics are taught and there is plenty of hands-on practice.
Click below to sign up for either the Beginner or Advanced class.