Thursday, April 20, 2017

Don't Fear the Night

I've been teaching and shooting forever and one thing that consistently happens when I suggest shooting in low light is an expression of panic and then a firm statement, "I don't do it because I don't like to use flash." Last night I set out with some of my photography students to show that shooting at night doesn't mean that you either get really dark images OR you use a flash. 

We started in Uptown Charlotte on a dreary night around 6:30 and shot until truly dark. Baby steps, right? Realizing that it's ok for your shots to let shadows be dark at night because, well it's NIGHT, is a good thing. No more FIGHTING for full exposure of your image from a bad lighting situation. Embrace the dark and use it to your advantage. 

Watching how the light changed from moment to moment, and then that exact moment that a low light situation becomes a night shooting situation was exciting. Neons got brighter, shadows became defining and the camera becomes a different tool to record it all. 

A few tips:
1 - Wear walking shoes
2 - Be patient and wait for the light you want
3 - Use your ISO, this is what it is made for
4 - Bring friends and be aware of your surroundings
5 - Backpack camera bags are a great choice
6 - A wider DOF (depth of field) will give you a super crisp shot
7 - Expose for the bright lights, and your shadows be richer
8 - Keep your eyes open and remember to look up, especially if you are in an area with large buildings.
9 - Experiment and HAVE FUN!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Always Trying

I consider myself a "natural" light photographer. I just prefer it. For the longest time, I have to confess, it was because I was afraid of manipulated light. I didn't love the "flash" look, it always looked unnatural and contrived. I've come to learn that it doesn't have to look that way and that incorporating flash and continuous studio lighting can be not only helpful but really fun too.

A studio lighting playdate with a wonderful photographer friend of mine recently was not only enlightening and reaffirming, it was just plain fun. The moral of the story is to just keep on trying new things even if you think you don't "do" that or "hate" that look... I guess in short keep an open-mind and explore. It has a way of creeping in and inspiring in unanticipated ways. Happy Shooting!

Images are all the copyrighted property of Heather Liebler Photography 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

When April Showers Bring May Flowers...

I teach a photography class a few days a week in addition to my photography sessions. I try to keep it fun and interactive, but also enlightening and inspiring. OK, and I AM a gemini, so often my "plans" are thrown out the window because I just don't feel like teaching about THAT today, I'd rather teach THIS! So when it was rainy and gross outside, but the colorful amazing flowers appeared before me the day before class... well you can guess what happened. Flower photography day is exciting and interactive and it shows that there is ALWAYS something to photograph for very little, IF ANY, cost beyond your photography equipment. I explained all of that to them, we talked specifics of shooting flowers, and then I told them how they have always been my photography project when I'm stuck creatively. They always seem to help me work through whatever block is happening and see the other side and get excited about it.

I realized the next afternoon that they are also my go to for fun. I bought a few amazing specimen and setup a vintage feeling still life. It turned into a wonderful shoot and I'm IN LOVE with the outcome. These remind me of the era of art that just calls to me. It's Vermeer and Rembrandt and beautiful light. It feels subtle and strong, all at the same time. It feels like me...
So when you feel stuck, or happy, or inspired, or uninspired, remember that just picking up your camera and working with light is enough to pull you out and help you to see things in a whole new light.

Images are all the copyrighted property of Heather Liebler Photography