EPhoto 126 - Multiple Light Sources




Many issues of EPhoto lately have been devoted to marketing. The last issue about 'blocking' got many favorable responses and reminded me that, hey, we're photographers, and we like to see images and 'how to's'. So this issue we'll talk about all photographer's favorite subject, lighting! In this instance, multiple sources of outdoor lighting.

As most of you know by now, I love using natural light. So when I talk about multiple sources of light, I'm talking about finding and 'seeing' them. It takes time and practice to develop this skill, but the results are worth it. Your photos will not only look great, but very natural too!

The photo above was taken in one of my favorite locations near my studio. One look and you can see why. I've got great light much of the day and a nice background. Let take a closer look at this high school senior portrait and see why it's successful. (At least I think so!)


By looking closely at the face, we can see our light direction. Light 1 is the main light, coming in from open sky to the top and left. Notice the light in the eyes. Trees and the hill block the direct sun.

That same direct sunlight is hitting a brick building to the right and bouncing back a warm fill, as seen by light direction #2. The really nice thing about this location is that an opening in the trees behind her allows light to rim light her hair and separate her from the background (#3). Does this remind you at all about how we light in the studio? I don't need a 'background light' because I'm careful to watch the tones that are behind her.

So when you're out looking for a location, study first where the main light direction is coming from, and then look for other sources. And remember, when using natural light, it's always 'Light first, Background second.' Good luck looking!


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