Controlling natural light
I have a great love of strobes and tungsten light and HMI lights. I have a great love of them. But just every so often I just have a mad kind of love affair with natural light. And I really began to reconsider that, because I did a lot of my early work with natural light. But I'd really began to reconsider that really in the end of the eighties. And I really began to try and see how I could work it it. Sometimes it's possible, there's a well-known nude of Kate Moss that's completely, 100% natural light. And how could I work with it, how could I possibly shape it slightly sometimes, how could I cancel some of the effects of natural lights, how could I increase natural light, how could I manage to work with it? Or in fact, sometimes not work with it at all, just go ahead and shoot what was right in front of me. But as for the Kate Moss shot, for example, of course it's a matter of knowing that you're gonna do that shot, but absolutely thinking about the time of day you're ...
gonna do it. And to pretty much know that you want the light not to be sitting right on the horizon line if you're using sun, but, so as it gets too chalky, the light, but you sometimes can shoot the light as it, if the sun is setting at six, you might want to start your shot at five, 5:15, 5:20, 5:30, and so you work with the light as it changes and alters. But once again, it's an awareness of what's going on and thinking about what's going on and thinking about what the light is doing and really looking. (calm music) There's a strange thing with photographers sometimes. They become obsessed by the camera and what they're photographing and not really thinking about what's really going on sometimes with the light. I think it's because their concentration means they start speaking to the subject, they get distracted by the photograph without really looking what's going on light wise. So in the end, of course when you work with natural light, natural light changes, it moves, a lot of times you have clouds coming over, you have sun, you sometimes get very lucky, it's a cloudy day, it's flat light. But you can increase that with reflectors. So natural light definitely has it's own beauty and I'm lucky because I never really settled down and said okay, I'm a tungsten guy or I'm an HMI or a strobe or I'm a natural light guy or I'm mixed lights, I mix strobe with natural, whatever. I tried to say well I know how to do all of that stuff and therefore it means that I have a slightly bigger bag of tricks to pull from. But natural light is certainly a major, a major player in all of that because there is a great beauty sometimes to just using the sun. (calm music) I'm always traveling wherever possible, wherever possible, with a minimum of four eight-by-four boards, black on one side, white on the other. And I find those just invaluable because that way you can create shadows with them, you can block light with them, you can, if you have four possibilities, if you think about an eight foot by four foot board, that's 32 square feet and if you have four of them you can do the math on that and that's 128 square feet of light that you can put in front of the subject to bounce light up into the subject. Or if there's a white cement ground that you don't want all of that light bouncing up, then you can flip the boards and do black. So four, eight-by-four boards if you've got the vehicle to carry them or you can strap them on top of their car, is really fantastic. I can do whole shoots with just these boards. Now of course, you don't need eight feet by four feet. You can maybe get away with four feet by four feet, but I do love these big boards because they're handy. (calm music)