intro to natural light
with lisa harrison
august 10, 2015
september 7, 2015
register now >
This four week course will help photographers who are comfortable working with their cameras in manual mode learn how to see and understand natural light and then put it to use to create beautiful images with depth and dimension. We’ll study the characteristics of light, with extra emphasis on the color temperature of light and kelvin in camera in week one. Then we’ll study how the characteristics of light change with the time of day and weather, paying close attention to the effect they have on the subject. Next, we’ll move on to overcast skies, open shade, additive and subtractive lighting, and we’ll finish up with using backlight effectively and creating silhouettes.
daily shooting encouraged
4 hours of work per week
Students should have a solid understanding of the exposure triangle and working knowledge of shooting in manual mode. You will need a camera, and a fixed aperture lens. We spend a lot of time evaluating the color temperature of available light and setting in camera white balance. If your camera doesn’t have Kelvin capabilities, I suggest an Expo Disc, a Gray Card or equivalent. While you can take this course with or without human models, you’ll get the most out of this class if you have access to (a patient) one so that we can assess the quality of light and skin tones. Weeks 3 and 4 are spent outside so please take your location and the season into consideration. I do encourage daily shooting.
Lisa Harrison enjoys lifestyle photography with bright clean processing and natural skin tones but equally loves black and whites. Living in Vermont with her husband, two children, and black lab Lucy, Lisa loves skiing and boating. Family, friends, Starbucks, her camera and computer are among her list of must haves. Her portfolio is available here.
The following photographers also participate in discussions and provide assignment critiques as teaching assistants: Jodi Arego, Kristen Ryan and Heather Lazark
A number of course alumni are invited to engage in discussion, share insight with students, and provide feedback and encouragement throughout the course.
Welcome & Preassignment
Reading: Characteristics of Light, with extra emphasis on the color temperature of light and kelvin in camera
Assignment: Studying how the characteristics of light change with the time of day and weather and the effect they have on our subject
Reading: Window Light, Lighting Styles & Modifiers
Assignment: Studying the effect that your subject’s position to the window has on your subject, working with a reflector
Reading: Overcast skies, open shade, additive and subtractive lighting
Assignment: You have a choice of shooting with overcast skies or open shade and studying the effects that adding and subtracting light has on your subject
Reading: Backlighting and silhouettes
Assignment: You have a choice of shooting with backlighting or creating silhouettes.
Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.