Learning to see and use light is one of the hardest and most important parts of photography. The other day I was taking some snapshots of the grandkids while they were playing. I decided to experiment with light and using available light (truth be told I was too lazy to go find my external flash or setup my studio light)
This 1st shot I took of them from where I was sitting but since they had a bright window behind them they are just shadows.
This is way too dark so I turned on my camera flash, I have the light now but I didn’t like the way it looked, notice the harsh shadows.
I turned the flash off and turned my ISO up to 800 and made sure my focus points were only on the kids and not the window, the light turned out much better but of course the kids decided they wanted to move so the focus is off (using a 3 year old and 6 month old as a practice model is a little difficult)
Now the only problem is because I am using light from the window behind them their eyes are not very bright and you can barely see the color in them, a quick easy fix for this is to get a piece of white poster board and hold it in front of the child so the light bounces back into their face.
Now you can see the color of her eyes.
Of course what I really should have done instead of going thru all that trouble would be to turn the kids around and have them face the window so the light would be directly on their face instead of their back. In this photo my granddaughter who just started kindergarten is sitting in front of a window and I am standing slightly to the side so my shadow isn’t on her. As you can see by the sun across her legs she is not in the direct sunlight so she doesn’t squint but there is still plenty of light coming thru the window to keep my ISO down at 100 so I can have a really sharp image.
The best way to learn about light is to experiment, take photos in different light sources and different angles until you are use to seeing how light affects your photos and how you can add more light to get the look you want.
I would love to hear your comments on your experiences working with available light, do you use it or do you always use your flash?