Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography "Strictly" Natural Light Photographers Reply To: "Strictly" Natural Light Photographers



I think you are misinterpreting my tone. I’m not trying to be rude. I’m just being sincerely honest. Her work isn’t relevant. A 2008 cover of Almost Famous magazine, does not a successful photographer make. Sorry. The advertising section of her website is more like brochure art. Stock photography, at best. Her tearsheet section is filled with catalog clippings for weekly circulars. Just having a section called “Glamour” just screams 1993. Also, I’m not seeing any of her NASA or Boeing stuff. Care to point me in the right direction…or have you not seen it either? Hensel lights are actually a lower level brand. Profoto and Broncolor are the big boys. So i’m not really impressed by that. It’s like being the spokesperson for Jack In The Box instead of McDonalds.

It looks as though she is a struggling photographer who will take anything she can get. That is why her work spans a very large gamut from still life to fashion to studio session work. I would say that she is probably more successful as an instructor than she ever was as a photographer. If her work isn’t old – if that is newer work on her website – then she is very behind the times in terms of what clients expect for lighting and also the fashion (see all the ripped jeans teens shots). I’d say that the majority of the stuff on her website is probably about 10 years old or older. You only want work that old in your portfolio if it’s iconic. There is nothing iconic in this body of work. If she is such a prominent photographer, where is all the prominent work? Again, I wasn’t saying she was faux. I was just saying her work isn’t impressive and I wouldn’t fork over money to take a class from her. You may find great value in what she has to offer. Hopefully you will get some basic information from it and move on and do better than she does. Part of being a photographer is thinking critically and objectively. It takes some time to learn, but I imagine you’ll feel the same way I do when you’ve got more experience.

I stand by what I said….if you have to wait for certain times of day to get certain colors or certain lighting, then yes, the light is controlling you.

What if your subject steps out of the light when you are using flash? Does that mean that the model is controlling you? There are always variables in photography. It’s knowing when to use what that makes all the difference. It’s not about one being better than the other. I shoot both natural light and strobe. I don’t have a preference for either one. It just depends on the job. If it’s more of an editorial food shoot, it’s probably going to be natural light. If I have to shoot a portrait of an interior designer in his office but his office is in a closet (which it never would be), then I’m probably going to have to bounce a strobe off a wall to make it look like a beautifully natural lit room.

BEG makes some good points about the times of day that are best to shoot. At high noon, the light isn’t great. But it’s a great time to move into the shade and do a more indirect light shots. On real commercial shoots, where time is money, that is what happens. On fashion shoots that are typically outside on locations, it’s a great time to take lunch, have a swim and recharge for a strong finish until sunset.

You can use gobos, black flags, buildings or whatever to block light, but you really cannot control the sunlight. You can’t move it and you can’t turn it off.

yeah, actually, I can control the light. I’ve got 1/2 stop – 2 stop diffusion on a 6×6 scrim jim, so I can control the power. I cannot move the sun but can change the diffusion to white or silver and bounce light at my subject. I can take 2 black flags and channel an even indirect light source into a direct dramatic, moody light. I cannot turn the light off, per se, but why would I want to? I need light or all I have is a black image, no?

If you’re in the middle of bright sunny field, you can block the sun, but you can’t make it go away.

Again, why would I want it to go away. At the most I’m going to want to diffuse it. But I don’t want to get rid of it.

Even if Allison’s work is dated back to the 40′s, lighting doesn’t change.

Really? Go back and look at photos from every decade from the 1940’s to now and tell me lighting hasn’t changed. It changes, frequently. And if you don’t think much has changed from just the 80’s to now, then I suggest you pick a magazine at random and just look at the covers from year to year for 30 years and you’ll see just how much it changes.

I came here to learn, but I guess I’ll be looking elsewhere…

That’s entirely up to you, but you’ll learn nothing by getting defensive and storming off in a huff. Sorry, you were wrong. Get used to it. You’ll be wrong most of your life.