My photo
... is a freelance photographer working in Middle Georgia

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sweet Light

Sometimes you find really sweet light, the kind of light that makes any subject look better.

When you find it with a good subject, life is good. Labor Day found me at the Jarrell Plantation.
In one of the old houses I found someone cooking on a wood stove, in the next room interpretive ranger Bretta Perkins was showing visitors how to make dolls from corn shucks. The light in this building
was incredible. All natural light flowing through the doors and windows.

So often when you get a situation like this, the light is really low. If you use a flash, even bouncing the light,
you ruin the effect. What to do? You look really closely at all part of your picture, see what the light is like
in each area. The top photo had stronger light hitting Bretta's face and the table, the visitors' faces were
in shadows.

You also watch the scene for a minute or two, looking for changes in the light. The main light source was a door on the opposite side of the room from Bretta. When someone moved in front of the door, she was in shadow, the sweet spot gone.

I went to manual and balanced my exposure so I would have enough detail in the shadow area to hold up, and still not overexpose the rest of the frame. I had to shoot at 1/6 second, so I propped against the wall, and braced the camera by pulling my elbows in against my chest.

Practice shooting at slow shutter speeds, it is well worth the time spent. Gives you a handy little advantage.

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