available light photography: direction of light / posing into the light
A topic that I’ve given more and more attention to here on Tangents, is available light photography - but specifically the concept that it isn’t just a random way of taking photos, but that consideration has to be given to the direction of light. When you work with someone you want to take a portrait of, it is crucial that you pose someone in flattering light. This often means posing someone into the light, with the one shoulder toward the direction of light. This idea works for even the simplest of cameras.
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Photographing a sensational bride, Julie, earlier today, I asked her to turn toward the light, and turn her gaze upward away from me. Her pose was instinctive, and I only helped her in placing her free hand, by asking her to gently shape her body with her hand, instead of letting her hand dangle loose.
I wanted to share some of my images. So I asked her if I could shoot a photo with Instagram on my iPhone, so I could post it directly from my phone to Facebook and Instagram. I had shot the entire sequence here with my Nikon D4, and the images look really good. Really good! But I wanted to immediately show some friends, and the iPhone was the choice for sharing an image.
Keeping to the same pose, the photo looked great, even on this simplest of cameras – the iPhone. This is the fundamental idea – the direction of the light is all important in photographic lighting. This is true whether you use on-camera bounce flash or off-camera flash. It’s just as true for available light photography, whether you use your phone’s camera or a top-of-the-line pro camera.
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