In a world full of built-in flashes and cameras with automatic everything, its easy to forget how rewarding natural light photography can be. Though achieving great results without studio equipment and a flash can be more challenging, using only the light available to you at that moment will make you a stronger photographer and can often end in strikingly beautiful imagery. Many of the best photographers preferred working with the environment rather than manipulating it with lights and flashes. If you are up for the challenge, here are a few things to remember before shooting:Control Your LightYou may not always be able to control the clarity or level of natural light, but you can always change how it interacts with your subject. For example, when you take pictures in your house, you can open or close the curtains or blinds to change the amount of light coming into the room. This also works for creating focused directional light. If a room has two light sources such as windows you can mute one side to drive the focus of the image in whatever direction you choose. Experiment with how moving around buildings and other structures can change the way your images turn out.Watch Out for the SunThough it seems like the best time of day for using natural light would be when the sun is the brightest at high noon, that is actually the worst. The bright and direct light in the middle of the day can cause high contrast, hot spots and stark shadows in your pictures. If youre looking for these qualities in your images then noon may be a good time to shoot, however if youre interested in soft portraits or subtle color scales youll find much better results in the early morning hours. Morning air has a sort of clarity to it that is hard to describe, but youll immediately see the difference in your images. You will also find that overcast days are great for natural lighting of subjects as your pictures will be bright but lack harsh directional shadows.Control Your SpeedsIf you use a film camera instead of digital, you should use a medium range film speed like 400 to make sure you’ll be able to shoot in most lighting situations. High and low speed films are incredibly situational and may end in your working around available light rather than with it, which can be time-consuming and cause missed shots. It’s a good idea to choose a shutter speed for the day (you’ll soon get good at judging this with some practice) and only adjust the F Stop or vice versa. The fewer things you have to worry about during your shoot, the more in the moment you will be.Shooting with natural light can be one of the most fun or most frustrating experiences a photographer can have. As you use work more regularly in natural light photography, you will see more successes and less mistakes. As always, remember to keep it fun and everything should turn out just fine.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Autumn Lockwood is a writer for Your Picture Frames. Your Picture Frames offers a large selection of colorful picture frames in a wide range of sizes, styles and colors. See our selection of bright yellow picture frames and pretty pink picture frames by visiting our website or calling us at 1-800-780-0699.