When you look at this image you are suppose to only see a beautiful model because well, she is a beautiful model. What you may not see at first is how sweet the light is. If you study the light there is a nice soft but directional main light, lighting the face, body and legs. And then there is a fine taste light (back light) skimming across the edge adding an almost 3D dimension.
All of this light is natural light, no modifiers, flash or reflectors. This is a typical kind of light that I look for and like to shoot in and call this a “pocket of light”. Better described as being inside a tunnel, where the light has to be directional and in this case, in both directions.
Take a minute and study the quality of the light itself and notice the soft specular highlights on the models forehead, cheek, bridge of the noise, sparkle top, and along the legs. And also notice the specular highlights from the taste light, adding that rim of light along the edge. The diffused highlight shows the true skin tone and the ever so soft diffused shadow that shapes. The “me and my shadow” isn’t so noticeable from the main light, but the taste light is strong enough to cast a forward shadow and generates a nice balance overall.
The biggest challenge here is taking the time to actually notice this light quality when shooting. Experience being the best teacher, but at the same time converting the light we see into how the camera will see the same light, in contrast, color, and brightness.
This image was created during a class I was teaching on the last destinationphotoeducation.com cruise. The main light source was a partly cloudy sky on the shaded side of the ship. We will have the next cruise starting the end of October. If you are interested, there may be a few rooms left on the ship so check it out and join in the fun.
In the mean time, take the time and start to notice the light and light quality when you shoot, it will make a difference in your work.
© Eddie Tapp