Natural Lighting Help

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by nala, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. nala

    nala TPF Noob!

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    One of my biggest challenges is figuring out the lighting in my pictures. I have problems with something as simple as using the sun to strategically light up the backgrounds of my photos. I would love to get this figured out and then eventually move on to more dramatic lighting scenarios. Can anyone point me in the right direction of some good resources that could help me learn more?

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Strobist might be helpful, also look into David Ziser's lighting.
    Dramatic lighting, is also about camera settings, like shooting above camera's sync speed will darken the background while flash will illuminate your subject - dramatic.
    Another thing to keep in mind is that if you're doing portraits with sun as your light, your subjects are HIGHLY likely to squint & sun leaves harsh shadows.
    Good luck.
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    +1 for Stobist. Get a flash and learn to love it. :)
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I'm shooting landscapes, then chances are only dynalytes or monolights will help me and I'm not dragging those for fun. If shooting people, even on a sunny day, I'll use my flash, even on lowest possible setting just to fill in the ugly shadows and soften the overall image. IF however, I want a high contrast b/n two sides of the face, then I might not need a flash or will use a snoot to ad to natural lighting.

    Another thing to keep in mind when shooting with natural lighting (post processing aside) is white balance. WHITE isn't SAME WHITE at every location thus be careful with skin tones. I'm a JPGer, my white balance is preset really to my flash and skin tones come out to what I want them to be.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Natural lighting is difficult to use because you have so little control over it's direction or brightness.

    Controlled dramatic lighting comes from using strobed light, either from speedlights or studio strobes.

    Strobist.com is undoubtably the best resource on the Internet for off camera flash techniques. www.planetneil.com is the best online resource for on camera flash technique.

    If you like to use books the Strobist book equivilent would be:

    Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Location Photography by Kirk Tuck
     
  6. nala

    nala TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help everyone! There is so much to learn - I think those sites will be a big help!
     
  7. nala

    nala TPF Noob!

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    Ok... one more quick(?) question. I have a Nikon D80. If I were to buy one on-camera flash to start learning with, what would be a good choice?
     
  8. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Go with the SB-600. I would recommend the SB-800, it is more versatile & more powerful, but it is now out of production and getting more expensive...even used. The SB-400 is a little too underpowered, IMO, and the SB-900 is outrageously expensive and, to my knowledge, still has overheating problems.
     
  9. snaggle

    snaggle TPF Noob!

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    Here is a good video on shooting out side.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  10. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ditto!
    ebay for sb800. I recently got sb800 used and wondering how I was happy with SB600. It isn't so much the power of it, it is also the quality of the light that comes out. Now my SB600 is mostly backup light.
     
  11. nala

    nala TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much for the great advice and helping me to get on track. I really appreciate it!
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The bottom line is that if you leave your lighting control you, your shots will come out based on the circumstances. When YOU take control of your lighting... you are way less dependent on natural lighting's limitations and can get better results.
     

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