I generally only photograph in natural light. It’s more natural, can be beautiful, is convenient and creates a sense of time and place.
Time of Day: Always look at the light. Morning and afternoon light throws beautiful shadows, can soften subjects and create magic. Lengthening shadows hint of approaching night and can add a slower or more relaxed feel to images. Morning light is energised. Midday light throws high contrast shadows, can be harsh but can also create drama. The light and time of day can completely shape, add mood and feeling to your shot. Sunsets in Autumn and Winter are amazing on the east coast, creating soft pastels and long shadows. Embrace it and go for a weekend walk at sunset with your camera or iPhone. The take-home message is…experiment with natural light.
Lighting up your subjects: When I was growing up I was always asked to face the sun for family photos. The result? Squinty eyes and grimaced smiles. Don’t be scared of a little shade. In a prize-winning beach shot of my daughter, the sunlight-brightened colours framed the shot, drawing attention to her gently shaded eyes and expression. Sunlit behind your subject is fine too, and will often highlight details you could otherwise miss – just stand to the side to avoid direct glare.