Featured Artist: Dana Flaherty
Editor’s Note: Dana Flaherty’s photographs are decidedly dark. She has a knack for finding rundown, grungy environments and then uses the available light to create remarkable images. Dana sometimes adds whimsical elements to her photographs to create a surreal effect. Be sure to check out more of Dana’s work on her Facebook page. -Steve Paxton
“One Split Pea Photography”
Natural light in photography can be one of the most inspirational sources when it comes to taking pictures. There is something beautiful and mysterious about walking into a place where the light is sneaking in through a window and dancing it’s way across a room. Many of the pictures I take are inside buildings and abandoned structures. I find the best time to capture the proper amount of light is during late afternoon hours when the sun isn’t too harsh. The characteristics of natural light is always changing. Shooting the same scene or subject throughout different parts of the day or weather conditions can lead to completely different images.
While I am working with natural light I focus on a certain subject whether it’s a chair or table where the light is reflecting and capture it in it’s natural environment. To achieve some of the most desired shots, I usually turn off my flash and use the light and direction as my source. If you want to achieve a different look you can always change your settings on your camera or adjust the light later on in your editing software.
To achieve the right amount of light I use the “Curves” tool in my editing software. When shooting indoors with natural light remember to focus on composition as well. Most buildings consist of various architectural lines that you can use to your advantage to create subtle moods in your photos.
Another creative element when using natural light is capturing shadows. Shadowing in natural light photography can also set “moods” of the photo. Light shadowing effects can provide a more obscure mood and allow a sense of “realism” to shine through. Whichever style you choose, remember to keep experimenting with various techniques and camera settings. Photography is all about fun and discovering new ways to enhance your photographs.
About the Author
Dana Flaherty is a photographer who has a love of architectural photography and urban exploration. She has experience in landscape and portrait photography. Dana lives in Long Island, New York with her eight year old daughter. You can keep up with Dana and see more of her photographs on her Facebook page