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|Category:||Portraits and People|
Natural light portraits - Make the most of the light that falls through your windows and shoot some natural light portraits.
Photo by Peter Bargh.
- Standard zoom is fine but a longer lens will give you more flattering shots
- Tripod such as Vanguard's Alta Pro 263AT will be useful if you're using a slower shutter speed due to the amount of light available
- Reflector – Try bouncing extra light into your shot before picking up the flash gun
- Background – If it's too bright try hanging netting on the window but stay away from colour as you'll get a cast on your image
Cloudy days, which we seem to have a lot of at the moment, are perfect for portraits as the light's diffused and if you have a window that's not in the direct path of the sun even better. Before you start, make sure you clean your window as a dirty one can be a full f/stop darker and turn your house lights off.
If you find that the sun is causing shadows to appear under the nose and/or chin of your model move them more into the room, away from the window or use a reflector to add light to the areas in shadow.
Don't meter from your window as this will have the same effect as snow has on your camera – it will think the scene is brighter that it actually is and your model will therefore be underexposed. However, by simply metering from your model's face you'll have no problems. To give your shot more warmth try the cloud or shade white balance settings.
The eyes need to be sharp and the front of their face needs to be in the light to draw attention to it. Asking your model to simply tilt their head slightly will bring more/less of their face into the light. You can also move your camera around the scene to find a suitable position to shoot from.
Try sitting your model 45 degrees to the window or how about shooting side on? For more interesting shots try only lighting half of them or have a go at creating shapes from their silhouette.
Find the tripod and camera bag to suit your needs at www.vanguardworld.com