Weekly Theme #11: The Art of Shooting With Natural Light

Fall Colors Theme Winners

We had an extra week with the last theme to be sure you were able to squeeze in as much shooting time as possible with those lovely autumn colors. WOW, you really delivered! I certainly added more than a few destinations onto my must see fall colors locations. Plus, shooting the fall colors was a perfect primer for this week’s theme: shooting with natural light.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s get back to these wonderful fall colors photos. Here are the top three finishers, congrats team!

  1. Autumn In Norway by Zane Rukute
  2. My Favorite Autumn… by Myselves
  3. Forever Autumn by Paula

Great shots, aren’t they? Don’t stop browsing just yet, spend time checking out all the entries. I bet you’ll find some new favorites while taking a look. Pay attention to all the gorgeous natural light the participants were able to capture, it might inspire you for this week’s theme!

Once again, great work, team! Let’s keep the good stuff coming.

Weekly Theme #11: Natural Light

I was really inspired to do some natural light shooting after I read Erin Fitzgibbon’s article, How to Take the Perfect Portrait Using Natural Light. Have you had a chance to read it yet? If not, head over there and check it out, she shares some really great tips on working with natural light. You’ll learn a lot about shooting this week’s theme.

I think this gorgeous shot by Helen is a perfect example of why we’re leaving our speedlights at home this week as we fall in love with natural light.

Photo by Helen
Photo by Helen

This challenge is going to change the way we look for and see light. As a photographer, that’s monumental! It will also encourage us to develop some good photographer’s habits. We’ll get to that in minute, though. Right now, I want to make sure everyone knows how to participate in the Weekly Theme.

As you can see, we have a new home here on the official blog. If you’re new to PhotoBlog, check out our awesome platform. You can use it to tell your stories and share your photos with the world. It has a great interface and makes designing your photoblog a breeze. We use our PhotoBlogs to take part in the weekly themes. Just read through the weekly theme details, and create a blog post using the criteria listed below:

Here are all the details:

Deadline: October 24th, 2016

How to submit: Add weeklytheme11 as one of the tags of your post

Check out the submissions: Check the tag weeklytheme11

Vote on your favorites: Like and comment on your favorite posts

Shooting With Natural Light

Learning is just more fun when there are photos involved, so instead of rehashing what Erin says in her article, I’ve whipped up this handy little infographic for you to enjoy. Hopefully you’ll take away a few key pointers to get you all fired up to start shooting with natural light.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Just remember to head over to Erin’s article when you’re done here. She takes an even more detailed look at natural light photography techniques–it’s a great read.

shooting with natural light

Building Habits

I think one of the greatest gifts that comes from shooting with natural light on a regular basis is how it trains our eye to see light. More specifically, how it trains it to see good light. I think we’d all be surprised at how many opportunities to capture perfect light we’ve missed because we didn’t even notice it was happening. If you’re not seeing the light, it’s pretty hard to photograph it!

Train yourself to build the habit of studying light. Take notes on the quality of light during certain times of day, how it filters through things like trees and windows, look at the temperature of the light, and look where the light doesn’t fall–in the shadows. How do the light and shadows complement one another?

Ask yourselves these questions throughout the day, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing. Eventually light seeking will become a habit and your photography will almost surely benefit.

By the way, look at this photo by Jeff Cornish. Notice how dramatic the light is and how important it is to the composition? The two go hand in hand!


Keep Learning

What are you waiting for? Head over to Erin’s post, she even explains how to make your own DIY V-flat. They make great additions to any photographer’s arsenal of tools and now you can learn how to make one on the cheap. AWESOME.

While the article is aimed at portrait photography, I think it’s worth pointing out the tips she shares are perfectly valid for many types of photography, such as food and product photography. Of course, I can’t image still life without natural light. Really, any time you’re shooting with natural light these tips will help out.

On that note, I’ll leave you to shooting. If you need one last dose of inspiration, I dare you to look at this awesome natural light shot by Ngov Dong and not want to grab your camera and set up studio in the nearest window.

Photo by Ngov Dong
Photo by Ngov Dong


Be sure to submit your natural light shots into our weekly theme! Just tag your post with:


You can even share a link to your post right here in the comments to share with the community. Okay, let’s see what you’ve got–let’s conquer natural light photography!


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About the author

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is an adventurer and photographer based in Hawaii. When she's not climbing volcanoes or swimming with sharks, you can find her here on PhotoBlog serving as the fearless leader to the wonderful editorial staff.

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