Camera-natural light

s2686qt

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I have decided to pursue my dream of natural light photography. I have always wanted to do it and I decided to jump in with both feet. That being said, I don't even have a camera. What are the best cameras you could suggest? Any help would be great! Also, what would you suggest for learning techniques? (I am a hands on learner so a class would be best for me.) I am all in and ready to learn! Thanks in advance! :)
 
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manicmike

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I hear Google has answers.
 

pixmedic

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Overread

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Natural light is a bad term to use because it doesn't really mean natural light since many scenes might be lit by light bulbs or other man made light sources. Ambient light is a far better term and refers simply to the light that is present within the scene itself without any modification or addition by the photographer

I have decided to pursue my dream of natural light photography.

What does natural light mean to you and why specifically that form of photography? I'm interested in hearing why its important to you that you only use ambient light sources present within a scene and not allow yourself the option to add your own light.

That being said, I don't even have a camera. What are the best cameras you could suggest? .

Depends how much money you have to spend, most here on the forums will suggest DSLRs because that is predominantly what most of us here use. What is best for you might depend on your budget, however if ambient light only is your requirement you might find that a DSLR gives you a good amount of control over the exposure and a wide range of usable ISOs which you will need.

Any help would be great! Also, what would you suggest for learning techniques? (I am a hands on learner so a class would be best for me.) I am all in and ready to learn! Thanks in advance! :)

Look up your local council for adult learning classes; local colleges; local camera shops and also local camera clubs. Each of those spots might have information on courses or even provide their own. Groups like the camera club can also provide mentors or guidance from other local photographers and will get you the hands on help that you want


I hear Google has answers.

Google only has answers if you ask the right question - and its only any good if you can sort the Cambridge in Colour sites from the Ken Rockwell sites - newbies to things often can't tell the difference and can be easily led astray into thinking that opinion is the same as fact.
 

table1349

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Why would you suggest second rate products. The OP wants the best. This is the best. H4D-200MS
 

amolitor

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Your question is pretty wide open, and hits enough specifics to make me suspect that you might possibly be a TPF regular playing a joke on us.

If you want specific answers, you would do well to make your question more specific. What sort of budget are you looking at? What kind of pictures do you like, and what would you like to make?

Assuming that you are serious, be aware that a) available light photography is harder than using strobes and b) TPF has a bit of a cultural aversion to it, which may get you twitted a bit. Sorry.
 

Derrel

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Nikon D3200 with 18-135mm lens and SB-700 flash unit. ALL you need to learn. Buy that, and a copy of Adobe Lightroom 5.
 

KmH

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Get a camera and get started.
What matters is the light, and what photographic skills and photographic knowledge the photographer add to the equation.
Depending on what kind of available light photography you want to do, you will also have to determine what lenses and light modifiers (reflectors, diffusers, scrims, flags, etc) you will need.

As far as learning how to do available light photography, by far the most effective learning technique is reading.
Many of these books have chapters on using flash (strobe) lighting, because in many situations - available light by itself won't work.
Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light (Voices That Matter)
Available Light: Photographic Techniques for Using Existing Light Sources
Doug Box's Available Light Photography: Techniques for Digital Photographers
Direction & Quality of Light: Your Key to Better Portrait Photography Anywhere
The Luminous Portrait: Capture the Beauty of Natural Light for Glowing, Flattering Photographs
Professional Secrets of Natural Light Portrait Photography
Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter)
 
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s2686qt

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I have tried google, however I did not get the answer I was looking for. (Probably because I was not answering it the correct way.) I thought a forum filled with knowledgeable and hopefully helpful people would be a better resource.I use the term natural light because I basically only wish to take photos outside. (Family photos in beautiful outdoor locations and nature photos) As for budget, my husband is very supportive since I have been talking about this for a long time and has basically given me the go ahead for whatever I may need. (Lucky, I know :) I will check into the links you have provided. Thank you so much for all of your answers!
 

Overread

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You must have some rough value in mind though - camera prices can go from a few $100 to a few $1000 to $10,000s when you include the camera, lenses, tripods etc.... Without a rough budget idea we really can't give you any suggestions. Furthermore you've not given much idea of what you want to take pictures of - with ambient light is all you've given and different subjects and situations will call for different setups.
 

Light Guru

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I have decided to pursue my dream of natural light photography.

99.99% of the time when someone calls themselves a "natural light" photographer it's because they don't want to or are afraid to learn how to use flash.

I use the term natural light because I basically only wish to take photos outside. (Family photos in beautiful outdoor locations and nature photos)

FYI flash is used ALL the time when photographing people outdoors. Fill flash is one of the best things to learn for photographing people outdoors.
 
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s2686qt

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Understood. My initial budget (to get started) is up to about 2,000. (Had no idea cameras could cost up to 10!) I love the outdoors and want to take pictures of families and children outside in settings like fields, vineyards, beaches, next to beautiful stone buildings, military homecoming, etc. I am a mother of 3, veteran and military spouse and I want to be able to capture special moments for other families. (Just not in a studio.)
 

wyogirl

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if you are set against using flash (even outdoors) get a good reflector. That said, lots of people use flash outside. I haven't mastered that yet but its on the list. Don't limit yourself by saying "natural light" or "available light" because you can get ok results with available light and sometimes great results, but you can also get excellent results with adding light as well.
 

greybeard

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Photography starts with learning to use the equipment, then how to compose your subject and finally with how to control the light. I'm somewhere between the 2nd and third stage and that is after several years of practice. Get yourself some descent equipment and some good reading material on the how too's. Then practice practice practice.
 

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