Photographing outdoors using natural light

Natural light brings an inimitable quality to outdoor images, but it can be tricky to work with. Our primary light source (the sun) is constantly on the move and cannot be easily controlled or manipulated.

Instead of manipulating the light source, we have to adapt the composition and timing of our shots to take advantage of the sunlight when it’s at its best.

We begin with a thorough scout of the location, and observe the sunlight throughout the day, noting where shadows fall, how far they extend, and how long they last. We determine the best time of day for each shot depending on how the light behaves, and plan our day of photography accordingly.

Time of day, however, isn’t the only consideration—natural light changes seasonally, too.

In the summer, for example, the midday sun is directly overhead. This is the most unfavorable direction for light, as it tends to create harshness and too much contrast. For these reasons, we rarely shoot outdoors in the summer at midday. During the winter, however, the sun is lower in the sky. The direction of the light casts more favorable shadows, and sends the light through more layers of atmosphere which serve to soften the light's effect. In winter months, we can often shoot for the entire day. 

What’s most important with outdoor photography is being prepared for what you can plan, and anticipating what you can’t plan.

An experienced photographer understands the variables and time constraints involved in shooting with natural light, and can capture the best moments revealed by a challenging light source.    

Outdoor spaces...
a place in the sun.

If you have outdoor spaces to capture at your hotel or resort property, let’s talk. Experience makes all the difference in showing your property at its best.