This Saturday was definitely a great day to learn about natural light photography. I was excited upon arriving at the Aperture Academy to see how nice the weather was in Campbell. We had two workshops that day, one from 8:00am – 11:00am and one from 2:00pm-5:00pm. The light outside was beautiful – very soft diffused light coming through the clouds blocking the sun. We would get patches of sunlight coming through for harsh shadow demonstrations here and there, but overall, even light.
Ellie and I started each workshop with a presentation going over the basics of photography – how to use your exposure triangle, exposure compensation, and posing techniques. We set our cameras on RAW or RAW + Jpeg so that we would be sure to have the most information in our images to edit with later on.
It was good that both groups had a great understanding of how to use aperture – the mechanism in your lens that allows you to select focus via depth of field. We started with exercises that allowed everyone to understand their settings in aperture priority – making sure to choose an f/stop according to how much of their subject they wanted in focus. It was particularly fun that day because we had two models, one boy and one girl. We got to practice feminine, fashion poses with Melissa and boy-next-door, masculine poses with Brian. It was fun to pay attention to our background in terms of finding spots out-of-the-ordinary as well as playing around with our models' poses with the background.
Repetition and symmetry were key terms in backgrounds and angles we would pose our models in. We also had good time interacting with the models by trying to make them laugh or feel the mood we want them to feel. Later on, we brought out our reflectors, which are always a hit! Well, of course they are – they can help us modify light without being difficult to set up or bring around. We can change harsh light by simple diffusion or reflection of light to fill in shadows. The gold side of the reflector got a lot of reactions because of how strong the orange warmth was from the reflection of light on to our models. We were able to work with difficult light situations – shooting in a hallway that had mixed artificial and natural light where we set the temperature of our white balance to adjust the color or shot in monochrome to remove color altogether. We also shot in a hallway where our model was backlit and had turned into a silhouette – only for us to correct it by bringing our ISO up and adjusting our exposure compensation. Really great exercises for showing what our cameras can do!
All in all, we all got to practice and take home some professional portfolio images. Can't wait to get out there and keep shooting!
If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.