Controlling Natural Light
As we lighting geeks often say, “light is light.” Readers of this column know I’m a big believer in the importance of knowing how to use artificial light from strobes, speedlights and constant light. But through my involvement in several online forums recently, I realized I’ve been neglecting the very important and fundamental subject of controlling and shaping natural light.
Forums are a great place to take the pulse of the community and find out what people are thinking. After posting questions on several Facebook group pages asking what lighting challenges people needed the most help with, I was surprised by how many were asking for tips and techniques to help control natural light, specifically how to shoot in harsh sunlit conditions. It dawned on me that I’d totally forgotten to address these basic natural-light skills and had instead been focusing almost entirely on strobe techniques. The other common thread was that people wanted recommendations for tools to control natural light that were portable and affordable, and that would allow them to work without assistants.