With this blog post I am entering an exciting competition by Urban Cottage Industries. The prize is a fabulous £500 for photography equipment from Amazon. I could certainly spend that in a heartbeat, especially as my main 24-105 lens has broken down! Something that I really like about this competition is the requirement to showcase one natural light and one artificial light photograph. Like most people, I take far more natural light photos and I really struggled to choose just one.
Who doesn’t love natural light photography?
I wanted to select a photo where the light was real feature. Natural light can make a photo really pop in so many ways. It can lift colours, it can throw shadows, it can cast reflections. In the photo below I use backlight as a feature. Backlight is one of my favourite looks and I’ve had some success with it before (no prize money though!).
I took this shot of my daughter’s eye in the light from my kitchen window. The cool north light from this window is great for natural light photography. The macro lens is set to a very shallow depth of field to give a feeling of closeness and intrigue.
My journey with artificial light photography
I once bought a photography backdrop to use at home with flashguns and lighting stands, but I gave it away. There isn’t enough space and the cotton backdrop needed ironing every five minutes. Lighting a white background with just two stands is incredibly tricky, and I’m not fond of high key portraits anyway.
I have continued using a flashgun with some neat diffusers, and that’s perfect for taking candid pictures of events like family parties. I can’t enter those family shots for a competition on my blog but I have used that same lighting method for some blog images in the past.
For this competition I decided to showcase a tricky lighting environment which is near darkness, in a reptile house. There were a few interesting challenges to taking a photo of this bearded dragon. Flash is not allowed near the animals so the lightbulbs in the tanks were the only light source. This is another image with a shallow depth of field. I hope it makes a nice pair with the first photo; complementing each other in style.
Regular readers will know that I blog about photography every Sunday so I was really pleased to be able to enter this competition today. I’ve had great fun choosing the photos.
See my favourite flashgun diffusers on my Resources page.