4 Different Kinds of Outdoor Natural Portrait Light You Should Look For
It is pretty common knowledge that photography is based on understanding the principles of good lighting. It’s also pretty common for the average photographer not to have the budget to afford a studio and light their subject from 8 different directions. Instead of worrying about not having enough, use the natural light you do have.
Good lighting can be found anywhere outside. Sometimes you have to wait around a few hours or walk around to find it, but there’s almost always a way to use natural light in any given situation. One of the first and major rules in photography is NEVER shoot in direct mid day sun. If your subject has the sun shining right on him or her, it’s very difficult to get a good looking picture. Not only will there be harsh shadows on their face and eyes, the mid day sun washes out the color of your scene. Here are 4 basic kinds of outdoor portrait lighting to look for instead.
If you cannot find a shaded background, get creative and create a silhouette.
If you’re in an open space, sometimes there’s no option to find a shaded background. If you have a sunny day and you want to light your subjects evenly, the only time the only time of day to do it well is when the sun is low. Direct light can be harsh and you dont want your subjects having to stare into the sun too long, so be careful how often you use this shot. Still, it can produce some well lit results.
Even shade is one of a photographers best friends. As long as there’s something taller than your subject, there’s usually a good opportunity to find a piece of even light to work with. Shade removes the trouble of harsh shadows on the face and allows for beautiful light.
It might be easy to get disappointed when an overcast day rolls through on the day of a shoot, don’t. Clouds act as a giant diffuser for the sun and give even light to an entire scene. Even when you have your subjects face the direction of the sun, clouds even out the harsh shadows that would be under their eyes.