Skip to main content

Shooting in Natural Light

Lesson 1 of 6

Class Introduction

Dave Krugman

Shooting in Natural Light

Dave Krugman

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Thank you so much for being here tonight. I'm really excited to be here. Thank you to CreativeLive for having me. I really love teaching any little bit of information I've accumulated about photography because I find that the best way to learn is actually to try to teach other people what you've known. So, I'm glad to be here to teach and also to learn alongside all of you guys. Today I'm gonna talk a little bit about what I've learned about light over the past 10 years of shooting. Without further ado I'm gonna kinda jump into this presentation I prepared for you guys. So, you know, light is absolutely one of the most essential parts about photography. Without light we don't really have photography. And, as I've, you know, pretty much learned through a lot of trial and error over the years as well as more formal education there's just so many little subtleties that I've picked up and I'm gonna share some of those things with you guys today. One thing I want to say before I jump into t...

he presentation is there's this one description of music that I love, which is music isn't just about the notes, it's also about the silences. So like, if you just have one tone it's just noise. But once you start to break it up you kind of get this rhythm, and this, you know, two sides of the same thing. Like silence and notes, and that's really what creates music. And I feel like that also applies to light as well. Without shadow, you don't really have light. And without that gradient, you kind of, you know, if you're working with both sides you can kind of create these beautiful chords and stuff like that. So, I always love comparisons between different types of art. So, that's kind of informs my philosophy that we're gonna get into today. This image is a good example of that. So, to me, when I think about light the goal is how do we make a successful photograph? To me, a successful photograph lies at the confluence of multiple variables. Subject, timing, equipment, location, editing, just it's really kind of almost an infinite list. And as we use those different variables and combining them in different ways your personal choices and how you layer those kind of equations together and add up different components of a photograph that's what makes your own style distinct, those decisions you make. And one of those variables, obviously, is light. So, as you learn more about each one of these variables, today we're gonna focus on light but I think that a lot of these lessons apply to any different type of variable that you're using in your photography your ability to use them increases. You'll uncover new combinations that you've never tried before. Like I said before through trial and error like oh, what if I change this little thing or what if I add this layer or this component. And that will help you learn and grow as an artist and a photographer. I really don't think there's ever an end to that education. Every little trick or technique that you add to your creative toolbox exponentially increases the possibilities, and that's what makes photography such an interesting pursuit. I don't think anyone's ever truly a master. I think that there's always more to learn and more components of this visual language that you can keep learning for the rest of your life. I don't think I'll ever stop learning about light and photography. This image, is to me, an example of, you know, only really only lit by natural light and there's completely different elements going on on each side, but I just included this as like, you know, combining the knowledge of how light hits like a cloud layer, and, but like with the rainstorm and all these different colors I just thought this was an interesting natural light photograph. So, I'm gonna focus today on light and specifically natural light. But I think as I said that, you know, it's hard to study one thing without automatically learning about everything at once 'cause light, space, and time, it's all interconnected in physics and to study the shape of one is to study the shape of all of it. Photography is painting with light and that's how I feel when I'm working with this variable. Our film or sensor or whatever light-sensitive surface we're working with is like a canvas and whatever light is coming in whether it's this light over here or light from over here that's kind of your brush kit and whatever you can do and however you can utilize those on your canvas which is your light sensitive surface is, there's a lot of possibilities to mix and match and stuff like that. And today we're gonna talk about, kind of, not artificial light, we're gonna talk about natural light which is light that's not specifically created for the purpose of a photo shoot. Like we're not sculpting the light and we're not generating it just for the purpose of a photograph. I'm just working with light that's, kind of, ambient and around us.

Class Description

For some photographers, capturing images with natural light is an anxiety producing process. Unlike studio lighting, nature doesn’t always cooperate, and you never know when you’ll be met with too many clouds, too much sun, or something in between. Renowned street photographer Dave Krugman will teach you how to deal with a variety of natural lighting situations so you can get optimal results no matter the weather.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Get the most out of whatever light you have.
  • Enhance available light with various techniques.
  • Deal with reflections, shadows, and hard and soft light.

If you’re more comfortable with artificial studio lighting, then this course is a great way to gain the confidence you need to create beautiful, impactful images with natural light. 


Catherine Ferraz

Great class, thankful You give us the time your advice and tips in this creative career.


Dave is low key and very articulate and brings a great understanding of the science of light to his discussion...also like his thoughts about stamping work w/intentionality of the artist.