Natural Light


When I’m shooting I like gear, and usually a lot of it. But a good photographer knows you don’t need all that every time. Most of the world’s most famous and iconic photographs are shot with just a camera and natural light. Here are some of my recent work with just natural light and tips to help you when working with it.


1. Magic Hours. Usually the first and last hour to hour and half before sunrise/sunset. At this time the light is relatively even so you can shoot and not have to worry about a bunch of harsh shadows. NOTE! Scouting and prepping is important with this because the good light will fade very very fast. 15 minutes during this window will really change the looks of your photo.

2. Clouds are your friend! Anything you can get to diffuse the direct sun is good when only shooting in natural light.

3. Find some shade!  This will give you even light that you can expose for without a ton of shadows.

4. Eyes, When shooting in natural light I typically like to expose for the eyes. This is just a personal preference but I find that if I have great color in the eyes the photograph connects.

5. Play.  Don’t be afraid to experiment. Play with the sun right behind your subject….let the background blow out, you don’t have to get every detail out of your shots.

6. Reflector. So many really high end portrait and fashion shots are done with just the sun and a big reflector. Get a friend, intern or assistant to hold a reflector to fill your subject’s face with light and you’ll have a beautiful photo. Takes some practice though.  Have fun!

This writer Buzz Sawyers I shot for his upcoming book…. SHUTTERBUG.



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