It's All About The Light

Little Buddies

I have been asked recently about lighting with off camera lighting.  The comments are usually like "Man I wish I could take pictures like that but I don't have any of that gear."  Well, firstly, I don't have a lot of gear.  One strobist kit from Midwest Photo Exchange (http://www.mpex.com) would do anyone just fine.  But more importantly, these days I am learning that it really is all about the light.  There was definitely a time (most of the time) in my life when I was all about having all the gear.  Usually wanting all of the "best" gear.  But now I see that if you have good light, you can capture a great photo with almost any camera available today.  Just search for iPhone pics to see what kind of quality you can get from a cell phone.  The quality from even the most modest cameras these days is more than adequate to get great pictures.

So I have a friend at work who is just getting interested in photography.  He has started turned off the flash on his point-and-shoot and was surprised at how much better some of his photos were.  He was starting to notice how light and shadows give form to a subject.  I gave him a quick portrait tip.  If you want to take a decent portrait of someone, just find a large window that doesn't have direct sunlight coming in.  Put your subject in front of that window.  Let that light hit them from the side.  Move them around until the light looks the best, turn off your flash, and just start shooting. 

The example above is just that.  There is a large window just camera right.  They are just inches away from it.  The light is great.  Give it a try.  Turn off that nasty old on-camera flash.

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