If you are just starting out with photography and you do not have enough money or you are on a budget to buy all the equipment I suggest you learn to use natural light. There are a few key points you need to have in mind and those are: time of the day, weather and camera direction. In this blog post, I will give you a quick overview on some of the pros and cons on specific times of the day.
I would like to start with the so-called “golden hour”. You have probably heard of it, because even many people who are not so much into photography know about it. “Golden hour” is the hour just before sunset and just after sunrise. That time of the day is the time that gives good results and is most desirable for photography, because the shadows are long and not harsh, and everything has a warm glow.
Sunset and sunrise give a special, soft and warm light because the sun illuminates the clouds from below. The contrast is medium, just like in the “golden hour”. Warm colors are not cool as during noon.
Twilight or dawn and dusk is the time half an hour before sunrise or after sunset. The natural lighting will give a calm peaceful mood to your model or nature. I must say that is my preferred time of the day to take pictures, especially horror photography.
Evening and mid-morning sunshine already has noticeable shadows and it appears more three dimensional, while at noon everything will seem more two-dimensional. The lighting does not have a strong exaggerated effect so the photographs may seem ordinary.
Midday sunshine is the worst time to take photographs because the shadows are too harsh, colors are not saturated enough and the contrast is at its highest. There is too much light, and it is just not interesting.
Sun is so unpredictable and the light is constantly changing, all your images will differ slightly and that is the beauty of it. Have you already mastered natural lighting? Or are you still working on it?
As I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts I find inspiration everywhere around me. You can often see me with my mobile phone taking photographs in everyday situations. I just cannot help myself. Often, when I go for a simple walk with my girlfriend I will spend 60% of our time exploring good frames, gazing around to find the next perfect image or motive. I find beauty in everything that surrounds me and I just would not be me if I did not capture it for “archive”, as I like to call it.
For horror photography, I sometimes take my inspiration from horror movies. However, more than blood and violence I am interested in the mysterious and unknown. That is why you will never find blood in my photographs. I am attracted to things like ghosts, aliens and everything supernatural. So far, I have not been able to find a model to represent an alien but I am working on a similar creature from my imagination.
My perfect partner in crime, as far as horror photography goes, is my long-term friend and model Marina who fits in perfectly with her dark, penetrating eyes and dark, thick hair. During the years, we have made some good memories and some excellent photos and videos that made it to newspaper articles, book covers, magazines and video games. She even got recognized at the bookstore while she was buying a book with her on the cover. Hilarious moment.
What about you? Tell me what is your favorite motive for your work and where do you find inspiration!
What is the best time of the day to take photographs? Young photographers or the ones that are just starting out often ask me that question and the best piece of advice I can give them is to carry their camera most of the time with them and practice, practice, practice.
Unpredictable days and our ways take us into many situations that provide ideal conditions for a good photograph. You can find inspiration in your office, in the leaves laying down on your way home, your meal for lunch and dinner, evening sunset and creepy night shadows in shady streets.
Another common question I get asked is about price of the equipment. I tell everyone that it is not always necessary to have expensive equipment to make creative photographs. Creativity has no price and with time, you will sharpen your eye, find more and more inspiration, and notice more details that will make a good photo.
So, just pick up a decent camera and get to work. There are no excuses if you want to do something. It is just laziness or fear of failure. Of course, you will need persistence and not-giving-up attitude all the way, if you want to succeed. Believe in success and you will attain it – just like I did.
“Why do I always work at night? How can I work at night? Night is for sleeping!!” And so on… These are the most common questions/statements I get from people who like to get up early, work 9-to-5, get back from work, enjoy lunch, a quiet evening and then go to bed early. To do what? To wake up early the very next day.
Ever since I started working as a freelance photographer, I discovered freedom and found that night offered me peace and calm from the daily rush. No friends asking to get a beer, no girlfriend asking to get lunch and no phone calls usual and reserved for the daytime. I am able to focus more and get more things done.
Later on, night and darkness became one of my bestselling concepts in my 10-year career as a photographer and that is something I always have inspiration to work on. Of course, it means visiting shady locations in strange hours, and sometimes even my models get scared, but a good photograph as the result was always worth it.
That is why the night gave my work a new dimension and a strange might to bright, sunny daylight just does not do.
To learn more on my work, please visit my online webstore (www.horrorgraphy.com) or my POND5 and Shutterstock contributor’s profile page. I also do work on demand where I put your ideas into quality photo and video content. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .