Photography : Natural Lighting

 

I receive a question from my reader this morning :

Do you always edit your photo's tone? I always wondering how did you get the vintage effect. 

Well, I tend to always give some extra touch on most of my photos in this blog, so the answer is yes. Maybe because I want to get that old-vintagey mood in my pictures and I kind of accustomed to layer my photos with additional finishing touch. But since there is a question about it, I think it will be interesting to post an outfit post on its original color, just so you know how my figure mostly looked when appeared on images. These are my outfit pictures from my second day in Singapore last week, taken by self-timer mode, on their very original colors. Yes,  all of the photos you see right now is unedited. I just did a quick resizing because they came in a large RAW version. Why did I do so? Because there is actually a way to get classic-toned picture without digital editing (explained later). Thus, along in this post I will answer some questions I got from emails / direct twitter messages that I haven't reply one by one.

What camera are you using?

I have mentioned this several time actually, but I don't mind sharing again. I'm using an EOS CANON 50D camera named Luce (yes, I name my blog after her) since 2010 (as a replacement of my previous use 500D before). For the lens, I'm mostly use the lens-kit 18/55mm and 18/200mm, with additional 50mm/1.8 to get sharper object with great quality bokeh background. Currently I'm also using 85mm/1.8 and it's my favorite so far!

If nobody around, how do you take your pictures?

The very basic helper is Mr. Tripod, which come in handy in most situation. However I don't always bring my tripod everywhere so I'm reckless enough to place my camera in front of the table, bed, suitcase, books, or any possible surfaces. Just remember that it's dangerous though!

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Do you edit the tone and color by yourself?

Yes I do, most of the time. But in several occasion (as in this or this post) I was being assisted by my great friend slash photographer slash editor Lambok Sinaga. He covered all of the photoworks with certain distinct tones that I couldn't do myself.

If we don't have enough time to edit, is there any way to make the color still good?

I have several saved actions on my Photoshop and Lightroom, so I always have time to edit the photo tone before posting. However, there's a simple way to create a good image without doing digital editing (for DSLR user): set your white balance. In this post, all of the photos are unedited, but they already have a soft yellow vibrant all over the layer - that was because I set my white balance mode from Auto into Daylight. You can also try using another mode such as Tungsten Light (for blue-green shade) or Shade (stronger yellow shade). I will post a related tutorial later if you're still curious, but that's really how I get the color from. 

Another advices to produce good photos if we're not that good in editing (or Photoshop)?

I'm not a professional photographer myself to answer such question, but I notice that there are several things I can do to get some photos that looked pretty good 'naturally' :

  • Lighting. My favorite is window-lighting, which come from a window-alike side and fall into your skin in a very natural way. So every time I take picture I try to find windows, doors, or any similar place that can produce natural lights using the sun's daylights.
  • Timing. If you want to take pictures outside, try to avoid the mid-days. When the sun is shining high right above us, what will we get is flat (ugly) lighting that creates bad shades in your face or body. Morning time or afternoon (around 3 pm and more) will be great to take photos, in my opinion. You can play around with back-lights to catch sun-flares, make your shade long and beautiful, etc.  
  • Focusing. As long as you have clear, sharp objects in your images instead of blurred ones, you'll be just fine. 

details : photos were taken with my camera Luce and 18/55mm lens, without tripod, mostly mis-focused, and obviously saved by the wonderful window-lighting.

I was thinking about sharing a photoshop tutorial later if you want to know how to transform these images above into this lookbook version (or maybe like this one, on facebook). Meanwhile, you could see this easy online vintage-tone photoshop tutorial which is very helpful and fun to try : here and there. I hope you enjoy the little Q & A post! See you again soon.