This week, I want to help newer photographers to understand how to get great pictures without flash. Where can you find the best light? I will show some examples of how to work with the light you already have.
In this picture of the little girls eating watermelon, you will notice that there is spotty shade in the background. It is important not to have them facing in that direction, because it would be spotty white spots on their faces, but I’ve put their backs to the sun and have them sitting on a white blanket, which reflects light back up into their faces. It works like a white reflector. The hats also shade their face from the sun.
In this image of a high school senior girl, you will notice a light in her eyes. You can tell the direction the sun is coming from, but the reason this works, is because of the dark background of the railing, and also the sun is overcast by clouds. This filters the sun a bit, and it isn’t as bright on her face. On a sunny day, I will usually wait for the sun to go behind the clouds before I snap the
This image was taken out at the Rifle River Recreation Area. It was later in the day, almost sunset, which makes the light a soft golden glow. The water helps to reflect the light up into this high school senior’s face.
When you are outside, you want to look to where the light is coming from. If there is any open sky & overcast, that makes for some nice light.
In this image out in the open field with full sun, you can see a spot of shade around the little girl. We used an umbrella to shade her from the direct sun.
If you have a darker background than your subjects, and they are facing the light, your exposure will adjust easier.
Always look for the shady side of a building. The light coming from the front will light your subject, but their face will be in the shade. That’s called “open shade”.
So here are 7 different ways you can try to get good portrait images. I hope you can try out a different one each day, or at least keep them in mind when you are out with your smart phone & enjoying time with your friends!