Use Natural Light
So for those of us that don't have lights or don't want to have to buy lights or set up lights and all that stuff, natural lighting is a great resource to have because all you really need is the sun and some knowledge of how to use that to your best ability. Currently we're out on the sidewalk just out here and the sun is setting over there and it's behind some trees so it's creating some of this diffused speckled lighting on me. Typically I'd say you don't want to shoot outdoors until the afternoon or in the early morning when the sun is straight above you, it can create very unflattering light on you. So it's better to wait until this hour when you have this nice golden light hitting your subjects. So let's move the camera now to see what this light looks like as a backlight. So we've literally just flipped around 1 80 you can see in the background that the sun is completely blowing out. It's over exposing the sky. So you've lost a lot of definition there at the same time. It's given...
me this nice little rim light. It's kinda nice way to break your subject away from the background and give a very cinematic look now at the same time as that sun goes down, it's gonna be harder to see the light on my face. So if you're gonna shoot at this time, just know that your your time slot is very limited based off of how quickly the sun's going down. So when using the sun as a backlight like this. Sometimes your subject can become a little underexposed because you have so much light coming from behind you, a good tip and a really easy resource is bounces like these. They're called flex fills um many people make them and they're not too expensive. You can also just get white cardboard or just white paper really. And all you have to do is hold it up right next to your camera, have it bounce the sunlight and it gives it just a little extra light to your subject. Um You do not need two hands up. Probably it's a little hard doing this by myself. So go hand this to will now they will stand here, have this nice rim, have a little bit of fill light coming in and you just have to sort of move the balance accordingly to get as much out of it as possible. A good way to test this too, is to on off your bounce. So right now it's on, let's go off now, it's off on off, you can see a very subtle difference, but it's just enough to sort of help bring your subject back to life whatever time of day you're shooting a lot of times having the direct sunlight add sort of contrast or make the image seem a little harsher. So I always try to find a good area where you have nice diffused lighting, there's no direct sunlight hitting me right now, but it makes, you know, it's just nice soft lighting, Everything is well exposed. It's much easier to keep this sort of lighting than if you have the sun directly on your subject granted it's afternoon right now. So the sun is set behind this house and were able to completely blocking direct sunlight. Also, my background is also in the same diffused lighting. A lot of times people will put themselves in diffuse lighting, which is great. But the background then has a son or something going on back there. That's just way overexposed. It's harder to make the image look really nice. So now I just want to show you how we use natural lighting in our own work. We just saw a lesson out here, but you can see that outside. It's so bright, there's so much light out there that you wouldn't really want to show that in your frame. So what we did is we punched in a little bit and we put this diffusion. So it's nice soft lighting and you still get great looking shot. You don't need to see outdoors, but you use that light and by being in the squad, we don't have other light sources, we don't have lamps on or anything like that. It's purely the ambiance of the sunlight, putting a little bit of diffusion and having a nice looking background. So it's a really easy way to get professional looking shots. All you need to do is just pay attention to where the light is coming from and place your subject correctly. Over the years, I've shot in many different locations and always depended on natural lighting to really get, you know, still cinematic shots. A big thing to pay attention to is what the weather is like in the place that you're shooting. I know personally, my hometown santa cruz, it always has foggy mornings and I love going out and shooting with this nice diffused lighting. You have the clouds overhead or you have the marine layer and it just, it has a nice mood to it, a nice feel to it at the same time. Maybe you're going off on a shoot and you're really excited, but you forget to look and there's gonna be rain for the next three days. You need to pay attention to weather and you need to know what, how that's gonna affect your shooting. Mm hmm.