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Over the weekend of November 7 – 9 I was involved in organising the Regional Convention for the Central Area of Photographic Society of New Zealand. We offered a wide variety of speakers, workshops and fieldtrips that pretty much covered every aspect of photography.

On the Saturday I took part in a “Natural Light Portraiture” session run by Dave Sanderson (www.manipula.co.nz). It could have been subtitled “How to shoot at the worst time of day” as it ran right through the 11:00am to noon on a day that turned out brilliantly fine.

Now I will generally admit that I am not a natural light shooter, as I prefer the control that one can have with strobes. However if you shoot weddings then you need to be to able to shoot regardless of the conditions.

The key, as Dave explained, was to try to locate something to provide an element of shade. This could be  a tree, building or even a reflector used as a diffusion panel. Alternative you shot in the open and used a reflector to reduce some of the harsh shadows that the sun would cast.

We had three models for the shoot who were all very new and the three groups took it in turn with each model. I am reasonably pleased with the shots that came out. They are nothing stella but then when you are merely practising a technique you don’t expect super results all the time.

Using a wall to bounce back an amount of light.

Using a wall to bounce back an amount of light.

A reflector out of shot fills in a little bit of shadow on the face.

A reflector out of shot fills in a little bit of shadow on the face.

A group effort in using a reflector as a diffusion panel which shades the model

A group effort in using a reflector as a diffusion panel which shades the model