Tag Archives: natural light

Natural Light Photographers vs. Flash Photographers | Alan Bailward Photography Blog

I Think (Some) Natural Light Shooters Just Don’t Understand Flash

I hear a lot of people proudly proclaim, generally amidst a discussion of flash technology, or studio lighting gear “oh I’m a ‘natural light shooter'”. Whenever I hear that I think what they’re really saying is:

“I don’t need silly flashes to make my pictures better, I use the sun and that’s it, making me a better photographer than you and your fancy gear.”

So here’s the thing. While I use flashes and reflectors and soft boxes, the light is still natural, it’s just controlled by me. The light is coming out of a flash is created in nature. The reflections in the models eyes from the umbrella? Natural as well.

So why do people get so hung up on proclaiming their status as a “natural light shooter”? It sometimes feels like one of those “doth protest too much” things sometimes.

Interesting. I’m a self-professed natural light shooter. I don’t even own a flash unit—aside from the flippy-uppy one on my camera that I usually deploy by accident. I do have a pair of redhead studio lights, and I have been known to take over our living room to do some work with them, but I currently don’t have any interest in learning to be a strobist.

Don’t get me wrong. I love looking at a well-lit photo as much as anyone. I appreciate the art and technique, too. It’s just not something I have the space and time—or budget, come to that—for in my photography right now.