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Downtown with Mariah pt.02

In the last post I described finding transitions between hard direct sun and shade in urban areas. here I want to highlight a different found lighting tool, and that is - the doorway.

Where in the middle of a street/alley etc the sun may be acting as a point light source creating hard shadows, moving the model into a doorway can get them out of that direct sun and act as a flag or scrim.

Additionally, it shift the directionality of the light. Overhead harsh mid day sun now becomes a huge100% reflected light source coming from all the surfaces of the street, surrounding buildings, etc. Often, like in this case, no additional reflectors or lighting gear of any kind is necessary to get a visually interesting image.

This type of scenario can be really productive because the model can move about with little concern to staying oriented to a strobe, or fighting a particular angle where the sun hits them just wrong... There is a time and a place for carefully crafted lighting, but many many of my most successful shoots that have resulted in publication, print sales, etc. have been ones where all the effort went into getting out of the way and really allowing the magic to unfold organically.

Try it out and see what you think - I'd love to read your comments about your approach to working in natural light!

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