Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Living Daylight

So, why use artificial light when you can use natural light? Because.

Artificial light and studio shooting gives you the advantage of getting to set up lighting as you want it. You can set angles, focus points and pretty much set things just the way you want it. But sunlight, how do you control that? I have no remote. And trusting the Higher Power to change luminosity according to your desire? Nah.

I have had a few ideas involving an abandoned railway station for a while now. I finally got around to doing something about it, this because the perfect model came along. A good friend and skilled photographer, Pii (you need a Facebook account to follow the link), agreed to appear in front of my camera.

It is always good to have a few locations planned when shooting outdoors. There is one thing besides natural light that you can't control, that is the movement of ordinary people. And their cars. Some people see you trying to get a photo and moves out of the way, others do it after you politely ask, but sometimes it is just as easy to move to the next location. You can edit out people if you want to, but those trees are quite rude, no matter how you want them to move since you need to stand just there to get the lighting right in the photo..... Or you can just go for a coffee and come back later when the sun has moved.

The main difference between shooting in natural light and in a studio according to me: a studio environment is easier to control, BUT you also need to know more technical stuff about lights and shadows. You can easily move lights around to adjust angles and luminosity, so it is easier to get a feeling to the photo. Shooting in natural light requires more of an idea and more flexibility in the model, since it is the model you need to 'adjust', otherwise your photo comes out looking like a thirteen-in-a-dozen vacation picture. You can play with time since natural light differs during the day, you can play with weather conditions (well, yeah...), but the light you have is what you get. You can give extra lights and reflectors a try, if you want to, of course. I don't, simply because I don't know how to use them. Yet.

Your camera settings gives you some kind of freedom when shooting in natural light. I use a nifty fifty lens (EF50mm f/1,8 II), which has a peak at f2,8, so that was what I used. The rest of the settings where set to match that. Have to be careful not to overexpose the photo, though.

According to good photography traditions (? at least for me) we started with coffee. And some snacks. Sometimes I wonder if getting into photography is just an excuse for me for having coffee with friends and meeting new interesting people. Maybe so, but I kind of like it, I'll keep doing that. As long as I don't need to require a new wardrobe from time to time after significant weight gain...

All and all, that afternoon gave a lot and I learned a lot. I still have some unprocessed photos, I hope I'll get around to them soon. But here are the two photos I already finished:


Very little post-processing on both photos. I didn't think either photo needed much.

"Late Arrival"

So, now it's just the rest left. Phew....

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