Let There Be Light

I was following a post recently on facebook where a photographer were ranting about “unprofessional photographers” who do not even have “proper lighting equipment”. He actually called them by name, “natural light photographers”.  As a rule I don’t respond on facebook when someone gives an opinion, but knowing how much effort, time and planning goes into “natural light photography”, here is my opinion. I call myself a “natural light photographer” and there is more than one reason why I prefer to shoot outside with natural light.  Probably the first and foremost reason is because I want to be outside.  Shooting in a studio for me is like working in an office. Secondly I sometimes smile when I see the amount of equipment some togs carry down to the beach in order to shoot a model. A whole entourage of people carrying stuff, holding reflectors and speed lights and whatever gadget you can find to look more “professional’.  I don’t like carrying stuff, so the most advanced lighting technology you will find with me is probably a flash. I don’t even carry an extra battery with me.  Unless I want to create a special look or mood, you will not find […]

Silhouette vs Contre-jour

I remember as a kid when we took photos of each other we always said “turn towards the sun”. I think even today still people believe that you have to turn your subject towards the sun if you want a “nice” picture.  If you don’t do that you will end up with what we call “silhouettes”, or mostly just a very under-exposed photo.  Not that there is anything wrong with silhouettes or underexposed subjects, we all love silhouettes and the mystery they contain.  Shooting sunset pictures often result in silhouettes, but there is actually a photography technique called “contre-jour” were you want your light to come from behind. Contre-jour translates from French as “against daylight.” Thus, contre-jour images are in a similar class as silhouettes and use low-key lighting, but they differ in other ways. A well executed contre-jour image creates an outline, achieves the aim of using a point-source of light behind the subject to create a bright glow that creates the form and reveals the image. Subjects within a contre-jour image can retain detail within the shadow areas, where as silhouettes is usually just a black subject with no detail visible. Contre-jour adds a touch of dramatic to your pictures and […]

Cleaning Out My Closet

Like most photographers I sit with a huge “closet” full of pictures.  Every time I do a shoot, I end up using less than 10% of my images.  These images are edited and given to clients, the rest stay on my computer for maybe one day when someone asks me to look back for a picture.  For normal shoots I usually delete the images that I cannot use, but for the surfing shoots that I do voluntarily at the beach, I keep. Well, needless to say I run out of storage space very quickly so I decided today is the day that I am cleaning out my closet. If you as me if I shoot in RAW or Jpeg, some people might be surprised that I shoot 99% of the times in jpeg.  And the reason for this is exactly what I have described above.  I just cannot store so many pictures anymore and RAW files are even worse.  It does occasionally happen that people ask me to go back and find images for them, which I normally do.  Usually they don’t buy any of the images and that made me wonder. What is the most economical way to approach […]