Tag Archives: natural light

che in the woolshed

On the weekend away to the Glenburn Station, the organisers has arranged for Che to join again to model. After looking around the wool shed in the morning I knew that it would be a great location, so I arranged for Che to meet me before the others arrived. That way I was not competing with the other photographers, and I could help them if they needed it.

Despite the fact that I had brought lighting gear with me, I had worked out that there were pools of natural light in the building that could be used and we made the most of them.

Che bought a couple of outfits but I have chosen to only feature one here.

Natural Light Session at Palmer Head

A couple of weeks ago we had a speaker at the Hutt Camera Club, who blew eveyne away with his portraits that were taken with the bare minimum amount of gear. He had a series of low key images that were actually taken using only natural light.

Kat-11Now generally you associate low light low key images with those shot in studio, where you can control the light, but these were all shot using natural light. He mentioned that they had been shot at one of my favourite locations Palmer Head.

I thought this was a great opportunity to try something new and decided to turn it intp a workshop inviting other members of Hutt Camera club to tag along.

Kat agreed to be one model and my daughter Samantha as the other. I had been approached by a new makeup artist Wendy who wanted to add to her portfolio, so we went with a glamour look on Kat and a simple look on Samantha.

Kat-15As it typical at this time of year the sky was grey and the wind quite strong, but that did not affect us much as we were shooting inside. We based ourselves in the most sheltered location so that Wendy could work her magic.

The trick to achieving the look is to place the model by a window, then doing a meter reading of the brightest element of the highlight and then dialling in 2 stops of exposure compensation.

Samantha-2Once people has mastered that technique we then moved to another part of the structure that had larger openings and therefore more light. Here the group practises more high key images.

Despite the conditions everyone seemed to have fun.PHWS-1

Shooting in Natural Light

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