Lighting is possibly the most important factor in photography. The light you use for shooting can break or make your photos. Natural light photography involves only the sun as the source of light. Sunlight varies from one time of the day to another, directly affecting your photos. They significantly change depending on whether you're shooting on a sunny or a cloudy day. You can shoot natural light photos indoors too. In this article, the 3 basic natural light photography tips are discussed to help you excel in it.
Top 3 Basic Tips For Natural Light Photography
Utilizing sunlight at a different time of the day
Golden hour is the universally popular 'prime time' for shooting outdoors. It refers to two specific hours of the day which are one hour after the sunrise and one hour before the sunset. The sunlight takes a soft golden color in these periods that makes a subject look distinctly beautiful. If you want to shoot in the golden hours, you must be well prepared and reach the location in advance because you will get very little time to shoot. Set the manual mode in your camera settings because the automatic mode will remove all the special effects of lighting. If you are not comfortable with the manual mode of shooting and want to shoot in auto mode anyway, enable the cloudy or shady automatic mode. In most parts of a sunny day; you will have to deal with harsh light and subsequent shadows. So, you need to think carefully about the right position for your subject. If possible, shoot under a tree or shade. Use a neutral density filter (ND filter) while shooting midday, because otherwise the photographs can be faded.
Shooting on cloudy days vs. Shooting on sunny days
When you decide to choose shooting in natural light, you need to understand how photographs differ drastically when you shoot on a sunny day, rather than on a cloudy day. On cloudy days you will have soft light and cool bluish tones in your photo. These photographs look well when your subject is a bit dull in color. If you're shooting with a model on a cloudy day, make sure the attire your model is wearing is of muted color. On the other hand, the light you get on sunny days is harsh, so you need to be aware of unnecessary shadows. Sunny days are great for shooting distant images. You can also click close-up photos if something is interesting in the subject that you want your audience to pay heed to.
Indoor photography with natural light
It's quite obvious that when you're shooting indoors, you need windows to let natural light in. Your subject should face the window. If you position your subject near the window, a soft light will cover it throughout, just like it does when you use a softbox. If you can, try shooting beside a long window so that light falls evenly on your model. Do not move your subject away from the window because it will create strong shadows unless you want to have it purposefully. Keep a reflector in the opposite direction of the window. It will even up the light.
Though it's generally advised to shoot during golden hour, the merits of shooting indoors with natural light coming in through a window cannot be ignored too. What matters most, though, is that you portray through your photo exactly what you want to. You should experiment with different times of the day, and different days with various natural light conditions, to make the most out of it.
Written By Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC.