Capture attractive portraits with high contrast natural lighting (video)

Many photographers prefer to use natural light, whether they are taking portraits or other types of portraits. But this can be a tough challenge under high contrast lighting – unless you know the right technique.

In the quick tutorial below with Canadian pro Jack Gaines, you’ll pick up five simple tips and tricks to get the job done without post-processing. For those new to portrait photography, Gaines offers an introduction to high-contrast natural light, and explains why a dimly lit source like a window really helps.

Despite the challenges, Gaines explains why he performs imaging under high-contrast conditions, and why this approach often leads to very exciting results. It explains how smooth lighting transitions from one part of a subject’s body to another can be key to success.

What Gaines describes as “dipping in the highlights and shadows” enables you to achieve pleasurable results, “and can literally re-sculpt the subject.” He explains that by directing your model into the pose in specific ways, her body will take on new and interesting forms.

Gaines’ advice begins with a warning to calm your expectations, and be prepared to do some experimenting. He demonstrates several effective modes suitable for this method, and discusses why shooting while the model is still in motion often yields the best imaging images.

There are some other top tips, including the technique for deliberate exposure of photos while shooting in Raw, and how some Photoshop skills can help with this technique.

For more selfie tips, head over to Gaines’ YouTube channel. Then take a look at another tutorial we posted, explaining how to shoot cool street photos at night without flash.

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