Welcome to this week’s dreamy collection of warm photos using natural soft light sources, taken by our Grads for our recent “sunlight” themed photography challenge.
So take a stroll through these beautiful naturalportraits and landscapes, be inspired, gather the tips for shooting in different types of light, and go shoot your own sun-kissed collection!
Natural Light Bokeh Photography Tips
Aperture is responsible for rendering backlight into beautiful bokeh. The wider your aperture, the better the bokeh. Make sure you head out early in the day or later in the afternoon when the sun is low in the sky, and try a shot like this. With your aperture set to around f/2.8 focus on the grass in front, and you’ll create a stunning backdrop of natural light bokeh in the background.
If you’ve only got a kit lens model which only opens up to f/3.5 and even then only if you’re zoomed right out… that’s ok, it can still be done!
Nothing says long warm summer days more than a striking sunset silhouette like the one in the photo below. The tip when shooting at this time of day and using these types of natural lights is to expose for the colour in the sky, and your subject will naturally end up in silhouette. The result is a gorgeous and dramatic natural lighting photography.
Late in the day, go hunting indoors for that warm, last rays or light falling around the house. The thing about this golden hour light is that unlike harsh light, it’s so pretty, it can render absolutely anything into a stunning subject.
Andrea Greeve, Graduate
Capture a Starburst
We generally can’t see the sun’s rays this defined with the naked eye. But you can capture it with your camera!
You simply need a narrow aperture of say f/14. The narrower you go, the sharper the starburst.
Buy an inexpensive piece of copper pipe, around 2.5 inch which is a standard fitting found in hardware stores. Hold it up to your lens, not touching the glass, and shoot through. It is a little tricky and it does take some maneuvering to get shoots that don’t include your fingers really obviously… but it’s fun to play and you can get fantastic effects like this one. This works best when you have strong light either just out of frame at the side, or shooting directly into the sun.
Check out this blog post for other fun tips to manipulate natural light for a creative photography effect.
You don’t have to shoot directly into the sun for natural light backlit portrait photography. Experiment with placing the sun just out of the frame for a hint of sunlight and a warm, golden wash.
Fiona Taddich, Graduate
Play with Light Haze & Lens Flares
Experiment with letting some haze into your image, which happens when we’re shooting into the sun. Take off your lens hood to capture it, and to control the amount of haze, use your hand to cup the side of your lens.
Jessica Skarlupka, Advanced Grad
Create a Halo of Light
When the sun is low in the sky, and you position your subject between your camera and the light, you can create a beautiful halo of light around the edges of your subject and this is especially pretty which it hits the edges of their hair.
Lindsay Meyer, Graduate
Dinithi Ranathunga, Advanced Grad
Free Photography Workshop
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