What are your thoughts on natural light photographers

blackrose89

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Seems to be people feel strongly one way or the other. Your thoughts?
 

Overread

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In what context do you mean? I'm sure I can guess, but I'd prefer clarity over guesswork - esp since anyone workout outside of a studio controlled environment has to work either with or against natural light.

Also are you considering natural light as sunlight only or as light from any ambient source not under the photographers direction?
 

2WheelPhoto

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Let me quote a pro locally here when I asked about folks bragging about being natural light photographers only: "Steve, natural light photographers either can't afford lighting, don't understand lighting or both. Lighting is critical and off camera lighting allows us to better control it"

I wanted to argue but..... I'm just a nooB student and I prefer real lighting too over reflectors and trying to catch the right time of day of window over controlling light plus the studio would be dark heh
 
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Robin Usagani

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I am all about natural light, but I know I can only take it so far so I do use flash also.
 

Rephargotohp

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I use Super-Natural light
 

jowensphoto

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"Steve, natural light photographers either can't afford lighting, don't understand lighting or both. Lighting is critical and of camera lighting allows us to better control it"

^This. I'm certainly someone who doesn't understand it yet, but I'm working on that.
 

Rephargotohp

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The assumption that if you use Strobes/flash makes you superior is false. Greatness comes from doing great things and the fact is it is harder to be a great Natural light photographer than it is to be a great flash photographer because you have less control. After all, Walmart photographers are not natural light photographers are they?

Natural light is harder because.
a. Great Light is not always there
b.some(most) people just don't know how to see great light (of any variety)

If you have never driven down the road and said "Wow, look at that light" or awaken early in the morning and there is this beautiful light on your kitchen table..and you noticed it...it's all over. That's what it is all about

It's all about intent, Sometimes I shoot all natural, sometimes all strobe, sometimes a combination. I use what I need. If you don't do any of the above becauae you prefer not to, that's good. If you don't because you just don't know or don't want to learn, that's another. But also what do you need to do what you do
 
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blackrose89

blackrose89

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In what context do you mean? I'm sure I can guess, but I'd prefer clarity over guesswork - esp since anyone workout outside of a studio controlled environment has to work either with or against natural light. Also are you considering natural light as sunlight only or as light from any ambient source not under the photographers direction?
Just a general question. Are there any circumstances in your (or anyone's) opinion where using only natural/available light is acceptable?

I've seen a lot of negativity towards those who consider themselves natural light photographers. Wondered of anyone here wasn't opposed to it.
 

480sparky

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....... "Steve, natural light photographers either can't afford lighting, don't understand lighting or both. Lighting is critical and off camera lighting allows us to better control it"
.........

I wanna see this person photograph something like, oh, say....... the Grand Canyon. Or the Andes. Or..... the Moon.
 

Rephargotohp

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Even on the context of a portrait shooter, I would agree, it's a good thing to know how to use flash because your clients are not always avaialbe a t a time when light is beautiful or wether conditions great. But just because you read the strobist 12 times and have figured out how to get it fire but your ratios to ambient suck butt does not make you better than someone that shoots all natural light and truly undertsnads how to see and capture beautiful light. Great work done great is the key,not the methods
 

JG_Coleman

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Landscape photographers oftentimes have no choice but to use "natural light". There are, of course, circumstances where reflectors and/or flashes could be used to illuminate foreground objects. By and large though, landscape photographers are at the mercy of natural light and the way it affects large scenes.

I suppose that, in a sense, using filters like a polarizer or a Grad ND could be loosely characterized as "controlling light" rather than "using natural light"... but I think that's sort of stretch. I use both of these filters routinely, but if asked, I would say that I "use natural light" in the vast majority of my shots.
 

unpopular

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On one side, I think that this is just another way for the 'old men' establishment of professional photographers to discredit new startups who, while perhaps do not have the experience or income to afford a studio, do still produce quality work and choose to focus on what they see as a marketable benefit - a specialty in natural lighting whereas many of these established photographers rely heavily on at least some artificial light.

I think that the establishment needs to get with it and if this is a product customers want, specifically offering a natural light option should be offered.

On the other hand, I know enough about photography to realize that "natural light" may not always mean " good light" and obtaining a quality product goes beyond that which myself or the photographer will be able to control ... like clouds. I think any natural light only photographer would be self limited to either narrow DOF or high ISO, even in situations where it isn't appropriate.

Still, in a world that relies heavily on artificial light, I certainly understand why some startups might see their forced experience with natural light as a benefit, and if the marketing works then everyone ought to pay attention.
 

Overread

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I've seen a lot of negativity towards those who consider themselves natural light photographers. Wondered of anyone here wasn't opposed to it.

It's important to understand that a lot of the negativity toward "natural light photographers" isn't necessarily the method that they are using (ie working with natural light) but that many today who make that claim are very inexperienced and uneducated photographers. As a result they get heavy flack for their choice of method mostly because its seen that they use it as a marketing tool to try and cover up the fact that they don't understand lighting in itself.


In general a lot of this also depends upon what field of photography you are working in - a landscape photographer, for example, is most often only going to be working with the natural lighting present in the scene, since trying to directly or indirectly control that light over the whole of the scene is very hard to impossible for them. That said there are those who do use lighting, such as flash, to light up foreground elements within the range of their lighting gear.
Meanwhile if you're a portrait shooter you've far more scope and capacity to affect and control the light you work with. This can be as simple as reflectors, excluder and diffusers (still only working with the ambient lighting) or you can jump for flash and add your own lighting to the scene).


My view is that firstly light is light - be it "natural" or flash based you've got to learn how to control and use it to the best of ability. If you're a working pro working on the clock you've got even more reason to be able to control that light so that you can, in any given situation, get the shots that your client is paying for.
Secondly one can't just be a natural light photographer without first learning how to control flash and control it properly. The choice must come from a background of understanding not ignorance - otherwise you're just fooling not only others but also yourself.



EDIT - PS - most of the time the "natural light photographer" comment comes up its only dealing with portrait and wedding photographers. Landscape, sports, nature, journalists etc... generally in those fields the specific topic never arises.
 

2WheelPhoto

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....... "Steve, natural light photographers either can't afford lighting, don't understand lighting or both. Lighting is critical and off camera lighting allows us to better control it"
.........

I wanna see this person photograph something like, oh, say....... the Grand Canyon. Or the Andes. Or..... the Moon.

Yeah I don't think he walk talking about "don't use natural light", but was talking about folks that don't know anything about it and claim to be photographers. Such as the FB photographers that brag they are natural light photographers and have a bunch of bland pics for display that are bland.

These people say "natural light" like its orange juice, the "natural" label assumes its better. FB and Bestbuy photogs FTW
bigthumb.gif
 

KmH

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The light that comes from a Zenon flash tube is made of exactly the same stuff that light from the Sun is made of - photons. All photographs are made using natural light.

Many use the term 'natural light' as a marketing term, not as a technical term. Many use the term in a marketing context to mask the fact they don't know how to do photographic lighting (fauxtographers?).

I used what ever light source(s), and light modifiers I had available to me that gave me the result I needed/wanted. But in all honesty that very, rarely included only what sunlight happened to be available.

Photon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Light - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of light sources - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Natural" light - Gag Me With A Spoon. :er:
 
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