Thursday, July 10, 2008

Natural light

Rather than only post on times when I do an engineered shot, I want to be able to post more often, so any time I take a photo that has light that I've thought about, be it natural or artificial, I will do a quick rundown on the thought process. The backbone of the site will still be flash based lighting however.

This weekend my parents were in Iceland and we took them out sightseeing. On our first stop, the sunlight was rather harsh, which would have made some deep shadows were I to take the photo unmodified. However I keep a lastolight silver/white double sided reflector folded up in my camera bag. It's perfect to modify the light with a super small footprint. The silver side acts as a long throw reflector, but must be aimed carefully. Since I'd given my dad my camera with the 85mm lens attached, I had Agust's sister stand just outside frame left with the white side bouncing light into our shadows. It resulted in a much less harsh shadow. You can clearly see that the shadow is nicely filled, rather than the dark shadows normally associated with direct sunlight.


We also stopped in a small museum/village and there were interesting lighting conditions galore. One in particular that I noticed on the drive in, was a double row of trees. It provided a framing option to have them recede in the background, but even better is that the way the trees were in relationship to the sun, it only let in soft white light from one side. I knew this would make for a powerful lighting setup and background. On the way out I made everyone stop and wait as I took a few shots in this setup. Here is the result. Notice the soft white light on the left side of his face.


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