22 November 2014

Zack Arias was asked,

“XYZ Photography specializes in natural light photography” Does this phrase annoy you at all?

and of course he replied,

It doesn’t annoy me but it makes me chuckle. It’s basically saying, “Hey! I don’t know how to light.”

By that definition, I most definitely specialize in natural light photography. I don’t know how to light, I’ve never used off-camera flash, and my hot-shoe flash is so basic it tilts but doesn’t swivel. I don’t say this with any pride; it’s just a statement that I’m not very far down that particular road.

So why then do I pay heed to flash specialists like Zach Arias, David Hobby, Syl Arena, and Joe McNally?

Because they all understand light; they would not be able to make it if they didn’t.

Go read Hobby’s Lighting 101 course. It will teach you about light.

Even if you never touch a sync cord, Lightning 101 will help improve your photography by stimulating you to better understand the central role of light. You’ll start to learn to recognize good natural light, to see what you might do to improve it — by moving your camera, moving the subject, using shades or reflectors, bought or improvised, or waiting for the light to change — and look to take advantage of it.

© 2014 Alan Watson Forster. All rights reserved.