30 January, 2008

RECAP- Photo Tip :LIGHT: installment one.

How did you do with our first ever Photo Tip??? This was the first of many to come! I was amazed by the response. Some of you asked NOT to have your pictures posted online. . .I honored that, but I did not review EVEN ONE image that I wasn't impressed by. Hopefully next time around everyone will be more comfortable sharing!

Let's recap our goals. We talked about two different lighting "strategies" this week.

#1. Control your light. We talked specifically about TURNING OFF THE FLASH. . . if you DO need to use your flash, pay attention to the shadows it will cast and work toward minimizing them with angle.

#2. Wait for your light. We talked specifically about FINDING good light (ex near a window or an open doorway) and waiting for good times of day to optimize the natural light that is available to you.

First here's one from me. I was sooting this sweet momma to be in a room with lots of beautiful natural light. It was soft and lovely, but where she was lying I was having a little trouble getting the light to fall directly on her. So I took matters into my own hands, I moved her lounge chair and repositioned it to the side of a mirror which I positioned so that the light would bounce off of it and thereby fall directly on my subject. I loved the result.

Let's see what you little photo maniacs came up with.

Damaris, a mother, chef and master's student out of Santa Cruz, CA, was the first to submit a shot. Damaris loves to take pictures of flower bouquets she receives from her husband to save in her journal, but complains that she always ends up with, as she puts it, "horrible pictures." Well not so this time around Damaris. Great work!

What Damaris did RIGHT was she turned off that blasted flash and FOUND AN ALTERNATE LIGHT SOURCE. Imagine how "horrible" this shot would have been had the color and contrast been all blown out by the flash! A+ Damaris.

Next check out Jessica. Jessica is a mother and a wife out of Arlington, VA, with a newfound passion for photography. I'm loving this shot of her darling daughter Joclyn. . . she rocked it by TURNING OFF THE FLASH and finding her own light!

Notice the beautiful light on the side of Joclyn's face proximal to the window and the soft shadow on the side of her face farthest from the light source? Isn't it just peaceful and angelic? Now imagine if NONE of that existed? Joclyn's facial expression would have been the same, but the picture wouldn't have spoken to us in the same way. It would have been flat, with no contrasting shadows whatsoever, other than the ones that would have been under her chin because Jessica shot down on her subject. A+ Jessica!

Ashley is a mother from Orem, UT (via Hana, Hawaii). She submitted this black and white image of a candle in the window where she works. She said it was taken in the early morning as the sun just started to come up. Note the "soft" light.

I'm loving the reflection of the candle on the wall behind it! Mmm. Imagine if Ash had shot the same image with her flash. It would have sent a whole lotta glare off that glass and the wall behind it. Instead what she created makes me feel relaxed and nostalgic. A+ Ashley!

Tami is a mother from Denver, Colorado. She got a great camera for Christmas and she's SUPER excited to be learning all she can about how to take better photos of her 3 little boys and her hunk of a hubby. She expressed concern over the idea of turning off her flash. In Tami's own words: "it's butt cold outside....especially in the morning and evenings....and by the windows...well, i don't have CUTE little benches by the windows, just wood blinds.....I take most of my photos with the flash cuz they are inside...any ideas?" Well let's see what she came up with. First of all: WITH THE FLASH INDOORS. I'm so glad someone braved this to give me an example to share.

If you're going to have to shoot inside because it's "butt cold outside" (he he he) and you've got to use the flash, the bathroom is a great place to do it. Light bounces off of everything it hits. Bathroom walls are generally light in color . . . aka great light reflectors. . .and then you've got the MIRROR for crying out loud . . . REFLECTION a la mode. . . yum. She didn't end up with any icky shadows. . . because the light bounced all around and hit him just so. NOW, let's see what Tami was able to come up with WITHOUT the flash.

Can you say slumber parties and Saturday morning cartoons? I am in love with this shot. Tami struggled getting to this shot, because as you can see the light pouring through the window is a little harsh. Because it was coming in from the side, in a few of her first shots the other side of her son's face was DEEPLY shadowed. It was a cool "ish" effect, but not exactly what Tami was going for. So she waited until her son turned slightly INTO the sun (controlling the harsh light. . .which was the only light she had available) and Vuala! A+ Tami!

Erin a mother of 3 from Pleasant Grove, UT (via Laie, HI) also acquired a new camera "recently," and she's discovering that she has a real eye (and love) for photography. Check this baby out:

I am in love with this shot. The challenge Erin faced with this shot was that the light coming through the window was a little harsh. . .SO Erin pulled Theodore (Teddy) into the room ADJACENT to the room where the light was actually coming in. She got the soft light that had been filtered through an entire room before lighting Teddy's face and the result is fantastic. She controlled the light. A+ Erin.

I want to share one more image from Erin. She was recently shooting a newborn baby in a dark hospital room. She was really struggling with the lighting. She was just about to throw in the towel when she noticed that the curtains were drawn. She pulled them back and positioned Momma and baby doll close to the window. . .and pop, zing, botta bing. . .

Priceless. Another A+ Erin.

Well, I hope you've learned a lot from each other. I was so impressed by what everyone came up with. I know that this was quite challenging for some of you. Good work EVERYONE! Stay tuned for our next Photo Tip Installment.

Happy Shooting!




i'm erin. said...

ohhhhh Natalie, I loved seeing everyone's shots! I can't wait for your next Photo Tip Installment, I have reduced myself to blog stalking you at least 3 to 4 times a day...knowing that you probably will only update once a day...but I just am an addict, and you have such great things to say on your blog...I LOVE IT!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I'm on the same page as Erin. I totally LUV your blog. Too bad it keeps me away from homework. Thanks for all the comments. I can't wait till your next tip. I would love to know what the settings AV and TV stand for in my digital camera.

ps: tell me how you change your blog header. I love the pic and the title. I found free blog templates but not sure if I should install it.

Heather said...

OHH! They're ALL so great! I LOVE baby teddy's photo!

Ashley said...

Thank you so much for the tips. It think it has really helped. I was able to get a few great photos of my sisters kids! I can't wait for the next tip and I as well love your blog. Its so interesting.

Jessica said...

thanks so much for the great advice! Can't wait until the next one!

shelly said...

WOW! These all look so professional! Happy shooting! I can't wait to see what everybody does next time -- I really like this!

Scott & Tami said...

Thanks for all the critiques!!! I love learning from everyone's shots..I love how you explain them and how to get that great shot. How did you get your shot of Lincoln...it looks like there was "harsh" light hitting his head, but his shadows weren't as deep as mine...how'd you do that?