Natural Light: Mixed
So, mixed lighting. A little bit like the spotlighting that we talked about before. And in this case, it's a mixture of some sunlight, and some shadows in there. It could be some overcast situations. These are fleeting moments, and I treasure these moments when they come because they don't come around very often. They can be very, very dramatic. And you do have to be ready for these things. And so your subject may not be completely illuminated properly. You're just gonna have to work with it as best you can. There's gonna some subjects it just doesn't work well with. You do have to be careful of those blown-out highlights and the blocked-up shadows. It really depends on the photo that you're looking at and you're trying to capture. They come and go very quickly, so you have to kind of anticipate and maybe bracket really quick just in case you've got the wrong exposure in here. You wanna have a good collection of images to come back with it. So this is typically gonna work best early an...
d late in the day when it's not too drastic of a change in the level of brightness from the sun to the shadows. And oftentimes, you wanna be protective of those highlights. You don't want to overexpose them in most cases. What I have found is that there's usually relatively short periods of time that it works, and then it just disappears on you. So on the Brooklyn Bridge, sunlight coming in, we've got a lot of shadows in here. The sunlight's fine here, but just a little bit later in the day, half an hour later, it just becomes too bright and the shadows become too dark, and the scene is not possible. I was down in California, working in the Redwoods, and I know in the Redwoods, they're a tall, cluttered environment, and I really wanted an overcast day. And funny thing was, in California, apparently they don't have overcast days when I'm down there. It's always sunny. And I got down there and I was going through some of the trails when I first arrived, and I didn't even take a photo. It was just like, this is a disaster of an area, because it was just bright sunlight, deep shadow, and every photo is just visual overload, is was it is. So it's like, okay, gotta get up. Not the crack of dawn, but well before that, so I gotta get out there right at dawn, because as that sun's low on the horizon, it's nice, even lighting in there. And then as soon as the sun starts to hit, which is right about now, I gotta little bit of time to work with because there's a few highlights that I can deal with in here. But half an hour later, pack it up, time to go home. It just gets too contrasting here. If you're wondering what it looks like when it's bad, this is a bad photo, okay? This is the contrasty lighting that you get in the middle of a bright sunny day. This is actually in a park in Seattle. It's one of the few places in Seattle that has never been built upon. It's really never been touched. It's just kinda the original Seattle, you might say. And it was actually a really nice scene, but it's terrible, terrible lighting. Coming back on a cloudy day, it's much, much easier to see. Just in case you're wondering, I did use a polarizer on this. A polarizer can be very effective in the forest. And that's because even on a cloudy day, polarizers work when there is a significant light source coming from a single direction. Now the light source is this big cloudy sky. That sounds kinda opposite to what I just said. The single light source is that it's basically filtering through the trees, and it's coming down at a very direct angle. It's not coming in at any of these other angles. And so if I'm shooting 45 degrees to that angle, it has a very good impact. And so especially as I kinda shoot down here, there is a lot of reflections that I'm taking off by using a polarizer in the forested environment on a cloudy day. And so that's one of those. I didn't really originally think of that 10 years ago. I wasn't doing that very much, and so now I know better, and it's a good time to have that polarizer out there and working.
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As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.
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- How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.
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