Finding The Proper Lighting: Onsite Lighting Vs. Natural Light

Lighting is a huge part of any good photography shoot and not matter what the caliber of equipment and the ability of a professional photographer, if there’s bad lighting he or she is going to be really hard pressed to come out with even a half way decent picture. The good news is that this is a topic that photographers tackle at every level of education, as well as every level of training. The smallest changes in light, light filters, and every type of setup that involves the lighting for a picture can result in wildly different results. This is why decisions on onsite lighting vs. natural light are such a big deal among photographers not just as a general debate or exercise, but also during individual photo shoots.

Why Go With Onsite Lighting?

Onsite lighting gives you tons of control. Flash and certain lights can shift the overall look outside while interior lighting and a shooting stage can create the perfect environment to get a photo shoot done effectively and make sure every picture comes out.

While this control can be great for staged photos, it does require a lot of expensive equipment and the proper setup, which can be limiting and time consuming in some circumstances.

Why Go With Natural Lighting?

There are many benefits to going with natural lighting, but the biggest benefit is almost certainly the fact that it is abundant, free, and everywhere. You don’t need special lighting equipment, and sometimes the sunlight creates amazing light through the clouds or at dawn and dusk that can’t be easily replicated. Sometimes natural light is just best and there’s no arguing with that.

Natural light can even be easily manipulated in some situations with the right tools like inexpensive reflectors or even diffusing devices. That being said, there are some definite cons to using natural light, as well. One is schedule and timing. Sometimes the natural light just isn’t that great. It could be too bright, too cloudy, and at night there isn’t any. There’s also the fact that depending on the colors you’re shooting the time of day could be good or bad for the colors you’re focusing on most.

The light varies immensely, giving more opportunity but also plenty of challenges.

Skilled Eyes Know Best

At the end of the day professional photographers learn their craft from a variety of good sources working together. From apprenticing for other professionals to taking college courses (or even a full major) to the ultimate teacher of all: real life experience, there are many ways for skilled individuals to hone their photography skills over months and years and if they are skilled in any way they are going to learn when onsite lighting will give the best results and when going with natural light gets the results that you’re looking for.

Small changes in light can make an enormous difference, so trust your professional photographer to help capture the look and style that you’re really looking for.…

Great Tips For Getting Sharper Pictures When Using A Long Exposure

One particularly clever way to get sharper images out of a long term photography exposure is to use a good solid tripod. Tripods are a time-honored way of getting a still shot devoid of the shaking human hands do, a method dating back to the beginning of photographic technology. Holding a camera steady is rarely enough for a long exposure, and when you need the camera to hold still, a tripod remains the favorite answer of photographers everywhere. However, simply getting the cheapest tripod you can find is a bad idea as these tripods tend to be constructed in a way that causes them to shake far too much. Getting a good, solid quality tripod leads to a stiller, less blurry shot.

Using a remote shutter release system is a good idea as well. This is because simply pressing the button to start the long exposure photography process can also shake up a camera. Because any sort of movement becomes increasingly noticeable when the length of the exposure grows, still these movements become ever more paramount to getting the best shot possible. One way to handle this problem is to delay the camera for two seconds on the timer, after which the camera will likely be a lot stiller. Alternatively, one can get a remote shutter release. These devices are typically connected to the camera via a wire or a wireless connection and are also known as remote cable release. They are fairly small and cheap, making them well within the range of most photographers.

Another good idea is to use the manual focus. Autofocus is a great time saver for most quick exposure shots, but a longer term shot tends to actually cause autofocus systems to blur the shot instead of sharpen it. This is particularly true of low light shot where the system oftentimes has a hard time finding something to focus on. In a similar vein, ND filters will often have the same issues as well. Using the manual focus systems to focus your shot is a great idea for getting a less blurry shot over the course of a long exposure. Using a flashlight for focus is also an option, but one should use the flashlight, then lock their focus to get the maximum effect out of this technique. Sometimes it really is best to use less technology.

Finally, a good idea when using a DSLR camera is to lock the mirror. These cameras have a mirror that reflects images from the lens directly into the viewfinder and tends to move a bit when shifting about inside the camera to get the best shot. However, there are actual vibrations involved here and that tends to blur the shots of a DSLR camera even under ideal conditions. To deal with these problems, it is advisable to use the viewfinder first, then lock the mirror in place before setting the shot to begin the long exposure. Taken together, these tips should lead to sharpening shots despite the longer …

How To Get Your Clients To Relax And Act Naturally During A Photoshoot

The job of a portrait photographer can be quite a chore at times. When things aren’t going your way, it could be really difficult to get the best results you expect from the photoshoot. A subject that feels/looks awkward in front of the camera can make life very difficult for the photographer. That’s why it is important to get your subjects to relax and act naturally during a photo shoot. There are many things to consider in this regard. This article provides information on how to get your clients to relax and act naturally during a photo shoot.

The location plays a big part in trying to get your clients to act naturally and relax during the project. You should find a place where everyone feels comfortable or a neutral place for the project. The place should be easy to adjust to, and the subject should feel at home at the location. Although you should find a location that corresponds to the theme and style of the shoot, make sure you speak to the client beforehand so that everyone will be comfortable and happy with your choice of location.

It is unlikely that everyone will feel comfortable on the set from the start. Hence, you should find a way to break the ice before starting the shoot. You should not be in a hurry to start the shoot. Spend at least half an hour talking something common with the client before you begin the shoot. It could be something simple as explaining how the client needs to behave on set or something totally unrelated to the shoot. However, it is important to break the ice before you begin the photo shoot. That will make your client relax and act naturally during the shoot.

Setting the tone for the shoot is another important step in the direction of relaxing your client on set. If the subject needs to look relaxed during the shoot, it is important to have him/her sit down and read a bit, sipping a nice cold drink while you set up the project. This will make him/her relaxed and ready for the photo shoot. On the other hand, if the subject needs to look energetic during the shoot, you can have them run around a bit or do some exercise until you set up the shoot.

Usually, you may have only the subject at the location with a smaller shoot. If the subject is not comfortable with having his/her photo taken, it could be a good idea to let a few of his/her friends come along. This can aid the subject to feel relaxed and act naturally during the photo shoot.…

How To Take Photos Of The Milky Way Without Star Trails

The Milky Way is hardly seen with the naked eye because of the lights present at your home and streets. These lights are too bright for your eyes, which explains why it affects the glow of Milky Way at night. However, using the latest gadget like DSLRs, the Milky Way can now be easily captured in a photo. If you are into night photography and the Milky Way is your next subject, here are some camera settings you can follow. Capture the incredible lights of the Milky Way and be amazed by its natural beauty.


Photographers use a high aperture for night photography to take photos with a maximum depth-of-field. When it comes to taking pictures of the Milky Way, your aperture must be in the lowest f-stop you have available on your camera lens which is usually f/2.8 for most DSLRs. If you are having a hard time shooting photos of the Milky Way, take several shots and use Photoshop to do some touch ups on the pictures.

Shutter Speed

Remember to bring a professional tripod with you to keep your camera rock solid. Night photos are usually taken using a 30-second shutter speed. Bear in mind that 30 shutter speed is not always applicable for all night shots. If you are using a longer camera lens, the shorter shutter speed will be needed.


When taking photos at night, light is rarely present outside for your DSLR to focus properly. Autofocus systems of cameras need a certain amount of contrast to have a clear focus. One of the easiest ways to solve your problem is by finding a street light that has same distance away from you as for where your subject is. And then, autofocus on that source and switch the focus mode of your camera to manual. That will keep the focus on your subject where you last set it.


You can use the “500 Rule” to avoid star trails while taking photos of the Milky Way. The 500 rule involves dividing 500 by your camera lens’ focal length. Its result will be the longest exposure in seconds before it stars start to trail.


A high ISO is vital to have enough lighting in taking bright images of the Milky Way. An ISO 3200 is a good setting, and then you can adjust it with other camera settings. It also varies on several camera models but does not worry, just play with its settings to discover the best level for you.

Are you still having trouble capturing the amazing Milky Way? You need to have lots of patience, planning, and practice to take its photo. Once you have mastered night photography, your photos will be incredible. You can always visit photography sites that offer basic lessons about night photography. And if you are indeed serious about becoming a professional photographer, several photography classes are provided for individuals who are passionate about capturing amazing night pictures. Most importantly, enjoy the moment and have fun …