Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Finding the Light

*Warning: Photography geek-out ahead.*

Yesterday an online photography workshop that I signed up for began. It's a four week workshop on natural light by Brooke Snow done through the Rock the Shot Forums. Each Tuesday a new lesson is posted with several videos. After one session I'm already loving the workshop, and definitely think it was worth the money.

The first session covers "finding the light." Lighting is everything in photography. Brooke says, "Find the light first and the location second." She proves this point during one of her demo videos when she shows how she took some awesome head shots while standing in a bathtub. Sounds crazy, right? Well there was a window, which allowed for great natural light, and the white walls and tub are natural reflectors.

Her talk about natural reflectors and absorbers was really helpful. They were concepts I knew but hadn't thought about in some of the ways she mentioned. I find the demo videos to be extremely helpful. Some of these concepts have been explained to me before, but actually seeing how she set up her shots helped me a lot. Sometimes I just need to see it for it to click. I'm a visual learner (which shouldn't be surprising).

Each week she also gives us an assignment. This week she told us to focus on "catchlights." Catchlights are those highlights or "sparks" you see in a subjects eyes. They add life to the photo and draw your attention to the person's face. One of Brooke's demo videos focused on shooting with natural light while indoors. She showed us various ways to use windows. Since I haven't done many indoor portraits, I decided I wanted to try it out...but I didn't have anyone around at the time so I decided to attempt a self-portrait, and I'm glad I did.

I love the way my self-portrait turned out. I used the window to get good lighting on my face, and I was able to achieve good catchlights by looking out the window toward the bright sky. I love this photo because I feel like it captures my emotions right now. It's kind of hard to explain how...and I feel like any way that I try to explain comes out sounding cheesy, so I'll just let the photo speak for itself. :)

If you read this post, thanks for bearing with me in my photography geek-out. I could go on and on about the things I learned just in that first session, but for everyone's sake I won't do that (anymore than I already have). I just hope that you'll be able to see my growth as a photographer through my photos. :) Also, I confess to a love of learning, and I love that I can go through this workshop at my own pace since I can save the videos and materials. Okay, I'm really done geeking-out now.

What do you think of my self-portrait?
Anyone else out there have a love for learning and photography?


  1. I love it! Your catchlights are so perfect =) Sounds like an awesome class!

  2. Thanks Kara! It's a great class. The videos really help some concepts click.


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