Natural Light: Mixed


Fundamentals of Photography


Lesson Info

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.

Class Description

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.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.


1Class Introduction 2Photographic Characteristics 3Camera Types 4Viewing System 5Lens System 6Shutter System 7Shutter Speed Basics 8Shutter Speed Effects 9Camera & Lens Stabilization 10Quiz: Shutter Speeds 11Camera Settings Overview 12Drive Mode & Buffer 13Camera Settings - Details 14Sensor Size: Basics 15Sensor Sizes: Compared 16The Sensor - Pixels 17Sensor Size - ISO 18Focal Length 19Angle of View 20Practicing Angle of View 21Quiz: Focal Length 22Fisheye Lens 23Tilt & Shift Lens 24Subject Zone 25Lens Speed 26Aperture 27Depth of Field (DOF) 28Quiz: Apertures 29Lens Quality 30Light Meter Basics 31Histogram 32Quiz: Histogram 33Dynamic Range 34Exposure Modes 35Sunny 16 Rule 36Exposure Bracketing 37Exposure Values 38Quiz: Exposure 39Focusing Basics 40Auto Focus (AF) 41Focus Points 42Focus Tracking 43Focusing Q&A 44Manual Focus 45Digital Focus Assistance 46Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF) 47Quiz: Depth of Field 48DOF Preview & Focusing Screens 49Lens Sharpness 50Camera Movement 51Advanced Techniques 52Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance 53Auto Focus Calibration 54Focus Stacking 55Quiz: Focus Problems 56Camera Accessories 57Lens Accessories 58Lens Adaptors & Cleaning 59Macro 60Flash & Lighting 61Tripods 62Cases 63Being a Photographer 64Natural Light: Direct Sunlight 65Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight 66Natural Light: Mixed 67Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light 68Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light 69Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light 70Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light 71Quiz: Lighting 72Light Management 73Flash Fundamentals 74Speedlights 75Built-In & Add-On Flash 76Off-Camera Flash 77Off-Camera Flash For Portraits 78Advanced Flash Techniques 79Editing Assessments & Goals 80Editing Set-Up 81Importing Images 82Organizing Your Images 83Culling Images 84Categories of Development 85Adjusting Exposure 86Remove Distractions 87Cropping Your Images 88Composition Basics 89Point of View 90Angle of View 91Subject Placement 92Framing Your Shot 93Foreground & Background & Scale 94Rule of Odds 95Bad Composition 96Multi-Shot Techniques 97Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction 98Human Vision vs The Camera 99Visual Perception 100Quiz: Visual Balance 101Visual Drama 102Elements of Design 103Texture & Negative Space 104Black & White & Color 105The Photographic Process 106Working the Shot 107What Makes a Great Photograph?


a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!

Vlad Chiriacescu

Wow! John is THE best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, and this is the most comprehensive, eloquent and fun course I have ever taken (online or off). If you're even / / interested in photography, take this course as soon as possible! You might find out that taking great photos requires much more work than you're willing to invest, or you might get so excited learning from John that you'll start taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE. At the very least, you'll learn the fundamental inner workings and techniques that WILL help you get a better photo. Worried about the cost? Well, I've taken courses that are twice as expensive that offer less than maybe a tenth of the value. You'll be much better off investing in this course than a new camera or a new lens. I cannot reccomend John and this course enough!