Saturday

Light Work

I've been receiving plenty of questions lately about my photography and while I'm a little hesitant to give away all my secrets, I've thought of a few basic points about lighting to share which could help anyone just starting out with photography. I've only just begun the hobby but I've had years of experience in front of the lens and I've been a sponge for knowledge particularly when working with some of Australia's finest. To me the most important thing is lighting - and the only kind of light that I use (or know how to use) is natural. Working with natural light you need to understand the way light is filtered and reflected by surroundings. Light coloured surfaces reflect alot of light, so a white wall is great for reflecting soft light back onto a face. When shooting a model in a room, work with light thats filtering through a window and just practice maneuvering the model until you find the spot where light is most flattering. In the above shot I was just shooting a test with afternoon light filtering through my lounge room window while waiting for my hair to dry (this was the day I put in the coloured tints!). Windows are great for filtered light because they beautiful shadow the darker background.  When taking pictures outside on a sunny day don't ever try to work with overhead sun because it creates awful shadows on the face. In Australia the best times of day for shooting outside are sunrise and sunset, when light is direct to the face. Overcast days I love because the light is filtered by clouds all day, which reduces contrast and gives you a longer window to take pictures. The best way to discover locations with nice lighting is by trial and error - its quite easy to pick up once you begin to really use your brain and keep practicing. Great pictures can even be captured just using a point-and-shoot provided you don't use the flash (very unflattering!!!) and make the most of natural light and times of day.
In the below post, the vignette can be achieved by obscuring the edges of the lens with sheer fabric. I used the same silk scarf used to make the turban in the Susie Reid post. I just discovered this little trick through experimentation. I had seen photographers at various photoshoots I've done obscure the lens with things such as strings of sequins, crystals or even leaves.
Hope this helps some of you. All the details about my equipment are in my profile to the left.

25 comments:

Mikaela said...

Thanks for sharing! Your photos are amazing.
xo
Mikaela

http://framboisefashion.blogspot.com

anouk said...

this is.......no words!just love it!

mom & son said...

Thanks for the tips, Zanita!
I am amaze with all your photos.
Great job!

Fashion Monstre said...

great tips! and this picture is absolutely stunning!!!

http://modebanana.blogspot.com/

I'm a mean street kid. said...

yeah seriously the thing i love best about photography and cinematography is the lighting. im a sucker for all things done in natural sunlight.

Mademoiselle H said...

Thank you! Nice picture as always!

Patricia Villablanca said...

Loving your photography, already you can distinguish the particular style/trademark from other editorials!

S.A.A. said...

You know who I'd love to see you work with...Sophie Lowe!!! That would make some amazing photos!!!

xx SAA

frances said...

you're so creative it's sort of astounding. keeeep it up, genius girl! x

The Lady Nerd said...

Fantastic! Thanks for the tips (and of course, you can't reveal all. Photographers are a new sort of magician and as we all know, magicians never reveal their secrets. :) ). But even so, the tips are very helpful! Now, if I could just get my hands on a DSLR....

Iole said...

wow

♥ D.M. said...

this is such a great post! thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

xo alittlereverie.blogspot.com

moded'amour said...

beautiful photo!

www.mode-damour.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

thank you very much for sharing this iformation, with the rest of the people. It's so kind of you.

Fashion Tidbits said...

gosh thanks for all those tips!!! :)
i can't believe you can effects by dangling stuff in front of the lens, that's so neat!

EricaDanielle said...

Thanks for the insight! I've got a D40 but I still have a lot to learn about the technical side of setting up a photo. Light is always the the most important thing to me!

Margaret said...

That's a stunning photo of you
Love what you've written about photography - I hadn't thought of obscuring the lens with objects!
Thanks, also, for the sweet inspirational message - which made perfect sense! Reconnected everything for me with style and art. :)
Hope you've had a wonderful weekend xx

Juliet said...

There is an award waiting for you in my blog!

juliet xxx

sisters and dresses said...

Thanks for coment!!!

B*

theDUSKzone said...

Gorgeous photo but of course! You look like a young Karen Mulder in this pic.

Natural light does wonders! Wish we could bottle it :). Very generous post.

Charlynn Lim said...

Thanks heaps for sharing!

As a photography student, your photographs never cease to amaze me. The lighting, the locations (I'm in Sydney too, and I've never been able to find that perfect location!), the poses; perfection!

All the best with future undertakings.

xx

Liya said...

We missed your posts Zanita! Love Brittany's shoot and this post is very helpful!

Vanessa said...

wow - you are obviously a very talented and innovative photographer, thank you for enlightening :) the process behind your photos makes me appreciate them even more

Anonymous said...

thankyou so much for sharing. Your photography and blog is an inspiration. Sitting at a desk job all day is quite dull and reading your blog brightens my day. Thanks again.

rachel said...

Thank you!! That's such handy information to have. I like the idea of vignetting with sequins etc... hmm, project time.

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