Working with Natural Light in Portrait Photography
ISO 200 • 1/800 sec. • f/2.8 • 70mm lens
Identify the quality and direction of natural light to capture great shots
In this chapter, you’ll be taking your portraiture outdoors. By understanding the quality and direction of natural light, you can then work to tame or redirect that natural light for better portraits.
Natural light, or more specifically sunlight, is the most plentiful and affordable light source photographers have. That doesn’t mean it’s always pretty light, though. Before you begin to blindly fight an uphill battle with a very bright opponent, you first need to learn to see light and the different characteristics of light you’ll be dealing with. When you’re looking at light, there are two specific characteristics you need to see, namely the quality of light and the direction of that light. Once you understand what you’re looking at, it becomes very easy to compose your portraits to put your subjects in their best light.