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Available Light in your photographs...
Available light, also called "natural light", is always fun to use in your photography, and adds a wonderful, natural look.
If you can turn off your flash, it is best to do so, if you cannot turn off your flash, you can try taping a piece of Kleenex over the flash to at least soften its effects.
Available light, is just as it sounds, the amount of light available, naturally, without flash, for your picture.
One of the best places for taking available light pictures is by a window, or in indirect sunlight.
Watch for the best times of day, and note them. At times the sun streams in the windows and makes for a great indirect shot (see figure 1).
At other times (and on overcast days), the sun may not shine through the windows as freely, and at that point, you can position your subject directly in front of the window, and still get great shots, see fig. 2 , 3 & 4.
Outdoors is, of course, the perfect spot for natural lighting. Look for the angle at which the sunlight hits faces, make sure to have the sun behind your subjects, so they are not squinting in the pictures, look for light streaming through trees, etc. In figure 5 you will see the sun through the trees, figure 6 is taken inside a circa 1800s church, figure 7 shows the sunlight hitting spots around in the picture, and on the subjects faces.
Figure 8 shows a picture taken, outside, with available light on an overcast day. (Overcast days are actually my favorite for photo sessions).
Figures 9 & 10 are a comparison of pictures taken with flash and without flash inside an aquarium.
Use a high speed (400 or 800) film. I, personally, always use 400 speed film.
If you get unsatisfactory pictures you can always try to "push" the film. This means setting your film speed dial on your camera higher than the actual speed of the film. You can usually push the film speed to double what it is marked, you can consult a photography store for the answers based on your film. When you have your film developed, you should ask to have it processed at the higher speed (re, if you are shooting 400 sp and you pushed it to 800, tell the lab to process it at 800 even though the film is marked 400 sp).
I, personally, do not push film, but it is an option, that some may want to try.
Available lighting can add life to your pictures. Add warmth. It can add so much to your photos.
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