Recent Natural Light Articles

9 Photography Tips When Photographing Cityscapes from a Helicopter

Aerial photography has always been something that I have found interesting. Seeing so many of our writers like David Geffin, Mike Kelley, and Noam Galai capture exciting photos and video from the sky has inspired me to finally attempt my first doors-off helicopter excursion. In just one short one-hour ride, I've learned a lot of do's and don'ts as well as a bunch of things to experiment with again. I even attempted shooting with a $7,000 lens that everyone told me would be a disaster — and it nearly was!

10 Tip For Photographing Models in the Nude

I woke this morning to find that director Matt Rycroft, over at the Cooperative of Photography, had dropped this little gem in my mail box. In their latest video the COOPH team up with first class celebrity portrait photographer Greg Gorman, as he demonstrates how to approach a nude photography shoot.

Markus Andersen’s New Book “Rage Against The Light” Beautifully Showcases His World Of Sydney Australia

Markus Andersen, certainly one of the leading street and fine art photographers in Sydney, Australia, and known globally, has just released pre-orders for his first book – and it looks stunning. “Rage Against The Light” published by TG Publishing showcases his wonderful work around his home town of Sydney (and for the first 100 pre-orders, 42 remaining pre-orders, comes with a free print).

How to Take Photos Under Various Sun Lit Conditions

Whether it’s high noon, sunset or the magic hour it’s hard to beat photographs taken under the natural light of the sun. But how do you contend with the myriad of conditions it produces? Easy. You watch this video by RocketJump Film School as director of photography Jon Salmon walks you through most of the lighting scenarios you might encounter outside. There are even some helpful DIY tips on modifiers thrown in.

Kara Marie Trombetta Explains Why All Boudoir Photographers Must Take Selfies

In today's carnival of conceit known as social media, the term selfie has come to be defined as a snapshot of oneself, almost always shot with a smartphone. Selfies have become synonymous with the millennial generation, and have been described as everything from harmless fun to wanton narcissism. But boudoir photographer Kara Marie Trombetta of Kara Marie Boudoir (formerly known as Click Chick Boudoir) has proposed a proper business purpose for selfies in her Business of Boudoir article entitled Selfies: Yes You Have To.

One of the World's Best Compositers Reveals His Complete Workflow and Retouching Techniques

Erik Almas, one of the best commercial composite photographers, has recently teamed up with the team at PRO EDU to create a fully comprehensive tutorial on his complete shooting and retouching process. In this video Almas takes us through an hour-long tutorial, retouching and completing the backplate for one of his tutorial images. I'm always impressed when photographers and retouchers, especially those at the top of our industry, open the doors and reveal their entire process and Almas has done no less here.

Mary Ellen Mark's Final Project: Picture This New Orleans

Mary Ellen Mark, famed photographer, passed away very recently. It's only fitting that her final project center around rebirth, a term that is synonymous with city – my home – New Orleans. I found these images on tailored beautifully with quotes that elegantly express the story that Mary Ellen Mark's images tell. Every image tells a story both literally and figuratively, there is a story included with many of the works that provides insight from those who are themselves players in the tales.

Why You May Not Be A Boudoir Photographer Even Though You Think You Are

Recently, a fellow photographer (who shall remain nameless) posted a rather beautiful image on his social media, and added "Shot a little bit of boudoir this weekend..." as the caption. This made me take pause and ponder about what boudoir is, or rather is supposed to be, and how it could very well be the most misunderstood labels in portraiture.

WIRED's Review of the New GoPro HERO4 Session Reveals Some Minor Problems, and a Dip in Quality

Just last week, GoPro announced a new a camera in their ever-expanding lineup of action-POV cameras. The new camera is called the HERO4 Session, and as Doug Sonders posted last week, it's smaller and lighter than the previous series of HERO cameras. In this video review, WIRED's Brent Rose takes the Session out on several different adventures, comparing it to the HERO4 Silver along the way.

How to Prepare for the Unexpected at Your next Photoshoot

“Expect the unexpected” is great advice for anyone, especially for a photographer. Making the necessary preparations for a photoshoot is essential to success, but what about matters that are beyond your control? We will review three of the most common obstacles that can potentially derail your next session, and how to best handle them both preemptively and after the fact.

8 Tips for Taking Epic Adventure Photos

If you're like me, photography is not just about weddings and portraits. I love getting outdoors with my camera and exploring the mountains and forests around my hometown of Seattle, Washington. Anything from a day hike to a multi-night backpacking trip is always an opportunity to photograph my adventures and share these beautiful landscapes with others.

CrossFit Head Staff Photographer Dave Re Helps Lead Media Team into the Future

Dave Re has a demanding job. He heads the photography team within the media department of one of the fastest growing sports in the history of sports. CrossFit (CF), a topic that I wrote about last month, is a fitness regimen that has gained extreme popularity in just a short time. Although Re never planned going to work every day as head staff photographer for CF Media, he has embraced it with open arms.

Behind The Scenes with Ben Von Wong on a Photoshoot Where Nothing Went as Planned

Being an adept problem solver is a key skill found in most successful photographers, and with complex photo shoots, the likelihood of something not going according to plan gets pretty high. On a recent project, Ben Von Wong had everything lined up, only to have things change and be forced to cancel the shoot, or make something else happen in a very short time.

Beauty Blooms in Blight: Striking Photos Show Burst of Color in Forgotten Home

There’s something about old places that always leaves you with a feeling of uncertain familiarity. Old places and empty places are like ghosts drifting behind us humming childhood singsongs just an octave below audible as we pace through their halls. If you’re from Detroit, you know that these places are aplenty. Some mighty like Roman ruins, some meek and shuttering in the wind, and most begging for new life. A new life is just what you’ll notice when you look at Michigan photographer Heather Saunders' photos of the amazing art installation, "The Flower House," which documents two long-abandoned homes in Hamtramck, Mich.

Editing Tips : Before + After Images

Heck yes! I'm pretty dang pumped about this post. Ever since the middle of high school, I've been immensely interested in "the process." You know, that middle bit between point A and point B that nobody but the artist ever sees. I've always loved peeking behind the scenes to see where something started and what kind of work and thought went into creating the finished product. I know I'm not the only one because a lot of you have asked to see before/after's of certain shots on my...

5 Reasons to Bring Your Photography Outside

Memorial Day has passed and at least here in southern New England, summer is in the air. Around this time of year I find myself outside more often than not, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, the work load is too much and I get stuck in the studio or working in front of a computer for long hours during the day. If you're anything like me you can only take so much time indoors, so getting outside is essential. If the long days, warm nights, and sunshine aren’t enough to get you into the outdoors with a camera, here are a few reasons why getting outside can help you become a better photographer.

I Started a Kickstarter Campaign, and It's One of the Craziest Things I've Ever Done (Part 1)

I've spent the last two years photographing Los Angeles from a Helicopter, in what is surely the largest project I've worked on to date. After a long, extensive and ultimately unsuccessful search for a publisher, I finally decided to scrap that idea and self-publish via Kickstarter. I'll be doing a series of weekly posts about what I've learned and just how insane this whole thing has been.

How to Easily Create a Tasteful HDR Image Using Photoshop

A lot of people associated HDR with over-processed, surreal images. This is not always the case. Shooting HDR can be very useful in different circumstances. It is often seen in real estate and landscape photography and can be very useful to balance a wide range of light levels. There are many programs out there for merging images together to create an HDR photo, but one of the simplest ways to create these dramatic photographs is using Photoshop's built-in HDR Pro.

Use Luminosity Masks to Enhance Your Landscape Photography

Our cameras today are extremely powerful with settings and features that help us archive stellar image quality. But sometimes the images we come home with just don't capture the true essence of what was photographed and what our eyes saw. The photo is just a bit overexposed or underexposed and doesn't capture what we felt in that moment we pressed down on the shutter button. We fiddle and tweak in Photoshop with sliders and brushes, but there is another tool to add to the arsenal: masks. Specifically, luminosity masks.

Destination Wedding Photographer Jonas Peterson and the Art of Storytelling

There is a romanticized dream of what it is like to be a destination wedding photographer. Outside of that idea lies a reality of what it actually entails. It is hard and exhausting work to photograph weddings full-time, let alone fly internationally on a weekly basis to cover them while also hosting workshops across the planet. But what is it that actually drives some of us to quite literally go the extra mile? There is a narrative behind the work you are about to see as well as the individual who has completely redefined the meaning of destination wedding photography.


When I saw this wedding shoot I was stunned into silence for a few moments. I really didn't know what to think of it! In my mind, when I think of wedding photography, I think of a world of immaculate white dresses, expensive shoes, thoughtful furnishings and of course, smiling wedding couples and their guests.

A Technically Perfect Photo is Meaningless

As a viewer, you rarely look at a photo and say “wow, that shutter speed and ISO really moved me,” right? The most memorable and moving photos may not be technically perfect at all. Adrian McDonald is the quintessential photographer, with photos that resonate with the viewers because of the way it makes them feel. That’s how you remember a photo.

Gabe McClintock and the Beauty of Natural Light Boudoir Photography

Gabe McClintock is an internationally known award-winning wedding and boudoir photographer based out of Alberta, Canada. His work carries an incredible amount of intimate nuances with a tonality that shifts towards dark and atmospheric. With so much emphasis out there about his wedding work, I took a bit of time to talk with McClintock in regards to his absolutely beautiful boudoir photography in hopes to better understand his approach and workflow.

5 Lighting Setups For Shooting in Direct Sunlight

Shooting in harsh sunlight is always a challenge. Recently I shot a test while out on a trip in Los Angeles. Due to scheduling we had to start shooting around 4 p.m., so we were dealing with hard sunlight. In this post we will look at five different setups you can use to shoot in and manipulate these less than ideal lighting conditions. In a previous post, I showed how to quickly scrim hard lighting. In this quick tutorial we will look five different ways to light while in the same environment and conditions in order to alter the look of our image.

How Retouching Made Me A Better Photographer

I rarely write in first person but because this is a topic I feel very strongly about, I want to tell you about my personal experience. When I was reminiscing with my wife about the one thing that changed my photography, it was the day I saw the light. Literally. The only way I was able to conceptually grasp light and the way it works was because I started retouching. There is no way to deny it, as I mastered retouching my photography was taken to the next level.

Mirrored - a Photographic Dialogue Between Sydney and Istanbul

Markus Andersen is back at it again on the streets of Sydney, Australia… but this time he has teamed up with fellow street photographer Elif Suyabatmaz of Istanbul, Turkey. The pair of photographers has just wrapped up a three year long project titled Mirrored where they responded to one another’s images by presenting a similar viewpoint from their respective nations. The final collection echoes the differences and similarities within the Australian and Turkish cultures through the mirrored interpretations each photographer presents.

No Sun, No Problem: How to Create Natural Looking Sun Flare

Warm smiles and serene sun flares seem to be landing on the shoulders of portraits all over the internet nowadays. Complimented with beautiful bokeh from a shallow depth of field, the allure of a sun-kissed image image is easy to see. What happens when mother nature doesn't seem to be on your side? In this article, I am going to show you how to master "faking" sun flare.

Pepper Yandell Spends 24 Hours Shooting for BMW

The one and only Pepper Yandell, based in Dallas, Texas, could be called the rising star of automotive photography for some time now, and for good reason. Yandell produces some of the most striking and commercially viable automobile images I've ever seen, so recently when BMW handed him the keys to a factory fresh 2 Series and told him to get lost for 24 solid hours, it was pretty clear that this rising star had ascended to a new level.

Get Yourself Prepared To Shoot Swimwear Model Photography This Summer

We've had one hell of a cold, long winter this year here in North America. On top of that, I live in Houston, Texas, so this business of freezing rain in March can go die in a fire already. I enjoyed shooting moody styles outside during this extended drabness in recent months, if I'm honest. However, sunny days are coming and I couldn't happier it because summer means outdoor swimwear projects begin, which is one of my favorite styles to shoot. However, having been so bleak for so long this winter, have you gotten yourself prepped for this most popular of fashion and glamour photography seasons?

 Glamour Video Is A Thing or Why I Am Returning To Video After More Than A Decade

I have spent the last 6 years cultivating a photography service brand and working to hone my image making skills on a daily basis, but the fact remains that photography is a relatively new endeavor for me. I was a graphics designer from 1990 or so until arguably 2012 (or today), with the occasional design job popping up that I cannot say no to. However, there was also this era in the 1990's where I was a videographer and video editor, shooting everything from local TV spots to interactive media clips to weddings. The embryonic days of digital video are mercifully long gone, but what happens when an old dog jumps into the modern world of video? I aimed to find out.

Aaron Eveland's Hawaiian Sunsets - Based on 'The Endless Summer' - Will Have You Booking an Immediate Flight to Hawaii

Aaron Eveland, the videographer of the wedding duo in Hawaii known as Makai Creative, set out to recreate the classic look of The Endless Summer movie poster – gigantic sunsets behind surfers on the beach – and that he did with the help of a Canon 800mm f/5.6 lens, a 2x Extender, and a lot of trial and error. It’s all worth it as you can see in his short film, Sunchasers.

20 Awe-Inspiring Photos from the US Department of the Interior's Breathtaking Instagram

It's certainly no secret that the United States’ 58 National Parks are home to some of the most incredible landscapes in the world. The sheer number of parks alone is quite impressive, but the vast range of diversity is even more notable. In what is most likely aimed to regain visitors to these often overlooked gems, the United States Department of the Interior runs a very well maintained Instagram account to showcase our national treasures. Here are just 20 of their awe-inspiring images.
This Solar Time-Lapse Photographed over Five Years Is the Coolest Thing You Will See Today

Since February 2010, NASA has captured more than an image per second for over 1,800 days to string together this amazing time-lapse of our sun. This year marks the five-year anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). To celebrate, NASA has publicly released this mesmerizing video of the sun's daily dance in sharp definition. This fascinating imagery has been released as public domain and can be downloaded for free in all its glory on NASA's website.

Scrim It and Light It - How to Photograph in Hard, Direct Sunlight

Learning to find the perfect light is something that takes time and experience. But what do you do when the perfect light isn't there? Shooting in hard sunlight isn't always the most flattering or ideal situation. Don't settle for less than ideal results, bad light doesn't have to mean bad images. In this tutorial you'll learn how to defeat hard light by scrimming and lighting to completely reset your lighting conditions and take control of your shoot.

Into the Belly of the Beast: Rob Norton's Gorgeous Documentary on Australian Photographer Markus Andersen Will Bring out the Street Photographer in You

Rob Norton crafted a compelling short film that allows the viewer inside street photographer Markus Andersen's art. Through Markus’ narration, behind the scenes glimpses, and many stunning examples of Andersen’s photographs, Norton added the perfect music and edited together a clever and engaging sequence that showcases the creativity and passion of a genre of photography that often gets sullied by today’s accessibility to modern technology.
10K Video Time-Lapse Created with a PhaseOne IQ180

That's 10K – as in your 4K monitor, but not really...because it's 10K. Yes, photographer Joe Capra created a stunning 10K time-lapse with a PhaseOne IQ180 that shoots images with a resolution of 10,328 x 7,760 pixels. While this video is clearly put together in a proof-of-concept style, the clips still astound. We can't expect anyone to be able to view this at a real 10K resolution (the video is edited to 1080p and zooms in to show the full resolution), but the least you can do is view it in HD in full screen, at which point it becomes a gratifying kind of dizzying.

What Your Mom Never Taught You About Natural Light

When taking portraits with natural light, often times, there is one key aspect that is overlooked. This facet of naturally lit photos is far more important than things like shooting at a specific time of day. Before diving into what makes a naturally lit photo a spectacular one, it is important to know and understand the difference between artificial lighting and using natural light.

Skateboarding as Art - An Interview With Fred Mortagne

Fred Mortagne, or French Fred, is a skateboarder, photographer, and filmmaker living in France. His images have taken skateboard photography to a place where the line between fine art, portraiture and action sports have beautifully dissolved into amazing works of art. As someone who shares a lot of the same passion for actions sports and black and white photography, I decided to get in touch with Fred to ask him a few questions about his work.

A Natural Light Tip That Will Have Strobists Selling Their Lights

One of the most noticeable differences between portraits taken outside using natural light as opposed to artificial light is the background. Images using artificial light tend to have darker backgrounds. This is crucial in catching the eye of the viewer and allows him or her to focus on the subject. This article is a guide in achieving this look using natural light only.