It’s about this time of the year when you’re literally chasing natural light, if you’re dependent on natural light for your photography. Finding the right time for great lighting and some subtle shadows is a challenge because the time will vary as the days draw closer to the winter or the end of the year.
With the use of inexpensive items like foam boards, mirrors, bottles and glass with bends or distortion, you can manipulate lighting and enjoy the consistency of that light without being dependent on the time of day. Studio lighting, desk lamps, even flash lights can help do the trick.
Simulating natural lighting is challenging, but the outcome can draw your viewer into your image just as well, if not better than using natural lighting. There’s more control in adding to the drama of the image and setting the mood; telling a story through your image. Only you have to know that you were mimicking the sun!
I was tinkering with some lighting angles and textures to try mimicking natural lighting. This is a simplistic image of some fruit (note: no modifications were made through Lightroom or Photoshop – except for the text overlay on the image):
- Macro lens: focal length 100mm
- Manual: 2.0 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100
- Tripod and trigger release
- Manual focus area around front apple’s stem
- Lighting left with glass distortion between the light and fruit.
- White foam board to right-and-front to bounce the light back towards the fruit; black foam board back.