Using Natural Light

Nikon D300s + Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G at f/2.0 ISO200 1/50 Second

Just a follow-up on yesterday’s post. My D300s’ battery was dead when I attempted to take some photos of Suki by the window the other day. But seeing as she spends so much time there, I soon had another chance with fully charged battery and my not-so-often-used 35mm f/1.8. Shooting with narrow depth of field can really create beautiful portraits, but let me tell you, working with literally less than an inch of it is not easy, especially with a moving subject like Suki. I was standing pretty close to her for the image above (the image was not cropped in post), and it looks like I just barely got critical focus on her left eye. Here are a couple more:

Nikon D300s + Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G at f/2.0 ISO200 1/125 Second
Nikon D300s + Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G at f/2.0 ISO200 1/60 Second

I really love the quality of light that comes through my living room window in the late afternoon. I also have some pretty handy “light modifiers” over the window (a translucent curtain followed by a dark brown curtain), which lets me shape the light and add or subtract softness from it. For these shots of Suki, I kept the translucent curtain closed all the way while opening up the dark curtain just enough to cast a a beautiful highlight on the front of her face that quickly drops off at her ears. Dialing in a little negative EV at the camera kept those dark areas dark (I shot in aperture priority). It wasn’t a problem getting her to look out the window, because it’s her favorite thing to do!

Nikon D300s + Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G at f/1.8 ISO800 1/50 Second

The light was so pleasing that I had Bridget come over for a quick session too. By this time, however, there wasn’t much light left to work with. I had to pump up the ISO and bring in a white reflector to add some fill in this shot. The quality of light is still great though!

8 thoughts on “Using Natural Light

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