I have always loved natural light. The sun is the best light source there is. Portraits using natural light are a nice challenge as you have to work with conditions as they are. It’s real important to select a good location that allows for some control especially if there is not a cloud in the sky to diffuse the light. Using a great portrait lens and a camera with a sensor that has broad dynamic range is a requirement. Utilizing a makeup artist and careful selection of wardrobe with the location in mind helps to enhance the overall look of the final image.
Recently I have been impressed with the work of Dani Diamond, and even downloaded his online tutorial. I loved the look of his shots (You can see a nice collection of his best work on my Pinterest page devoted to Natural Light Photography). It’s a style that enhances the beauty of the subject in a soft, gentle way and is quite stunning, really. i got a chance to practice his technique recently, and the images appear below. Dani provides an action with his tutorial that sets up Photoshop using all the steps in his workflow. I had to refer to his tutorial for reference, but after processing several photos I am getting pretty comfortable with it.
The images in the slideshow were shot in an alley that opens out onto the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO. I chose the location as there were two tall buildings on either side that created shadows that were filled with soft, natural light, along with bright sunlight in the background to help create separation between the background and the model. I used a Nikon D800 with a Nikon 85mm f1.4. My model is Muzette Mercer from Boulder (who was just a joy to work with). You can reach her through Instagram @muzette.mercer.