Digital SLR Photography - - Front Page -

aster con­trol of day­light and you're well on your way to be­ing able to take great por­traits no mat­ter the weather con­di­tions or the time of day. the key thing to re­alise is that the term ' day­light' is a catch- all for a mul­ti­tude of light­ing con­di­tions. day­light sim­ply refers to the nat­u­ral, am­bi­ent light that is avail­able re­gard­less of the weather con­di­tions or lo­ca­tion. So when you're shoot­ing on a beach on a bright, sunny day, you're work­ing in day­light, as is when you're tak­ing pic­tures on a dark, over­cast day, when you're work­ing in the con­fines of a shaded al­ley­way, or in the fi­nal mo­ments be­fore sun­set.

all these sce­nar­ios fall un­der the re­mit of ' day­light', but all pro­vide a very dif­fer­ent type of light, each re­quir­ing dif­fer­ent skills and light­ing aids to en­sure your por­traits are per­fectly lit. Be­ing able to un­der­stand the type of day­light you're work­ing with, know­ing how to han­dle it and what you need to con­trol the di­rec­tion and in­ten­sity of light is rel­a­tively straight­for­ward, so it shouldn't take you too long to get used to the ba­sics. once you have, you'll then be able to de­velop your skills to be able to in­tro­duce more cre­ative tech­niques into your day­light por­traits and take your im­ages to an even higher level.

as you'll find, shoot­ing in day­light has the ben­e­fit of not re­quir­ing an in­vest­ment in ex­pen­sive kit ( al­though costly op­tions are avail­able) – your light source is free, so all you'll need are some aids to help you con­trol it. a re­flec­tor or two is a must, while dif­fusers also have an im­por­tant part to play. and, should you wish, you can in­tro­duce flash into the mix should you want to com­bine am­bi­ent and ar­ti­fi­cial light­ing. But that's jump­ing ahead: for now, let's stick to cov­er­ing the main forms of day­light con­di­tions and how you should pre­pare to use them to cap­ture great por­traits. In this guide, we'll cover the key skills, prin­ci­ples and kit you'll need to take your first steps to mas­ter­ing day­light por­traits.

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