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Monday, October 6, 2014

Photo Tip Monday: Using Ambient (Available) Light

Summarizing today's post: Using only ambient/available light in photography & keeping your camera handy at all times.

shot at 120mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/30th, ambient light only
Happy Monday guys!

I've got a quick photo tip for you today. Nothing earth-shattering, but important.

First, I'd like to start off with a thought for those of you who hate Mondays.

A colleague of mine at work told me this when I came dragging in early one Monday morning...he said: "You know Brant, one of the best things about Monday is that it is the absolute furthest day of the week away from the next Monday". 

Pretty neat thought. Maybe it made you smile.

Okay, on to the photo tip.

With all the many, many ways that you can adjust lighting in photography, don't overlook the lighting that's already there. The ambient/available light can be (and often is) sufficient to light your subject. This is good news to those of you are a little timid with using flash photography.

Take a look at Kitty above (her actual name is Pepper, but she wouldn't know it...I've always called her Kitty). 

We had a chilly night sneak up on us last week and I didn't have the heat on just yet in our home. Therefore, it was a little colder than normal inside when I got up and moving. I found Kitty soaking up the heat from one of the sun's rays streaming thru our porch door. 

Maybe she was dropping me a hint. "Turn on the heat daddy!"

Anyhow, I thought it was a pretty neat photo opportunity so I grabbed my camera (I always have it handy, especially around home...don't you?).

With the sun illuminating her face and chest just right, I didn't want to add any light (flash or otherwise) to the image. I simply went with the ambient light. It turned out very nice I thought...and it took maybe 30 seconds to capture. 

Sometimes you do need to add your own light to the ambient (see my post here for an example), but many times you can get away with what's already there.

Don't over-complicate things. Just have your camera ready at all times.

Have a great Monday and thanks for reading!


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