Ahhh winter, it’s so nice with the rain and the cold weather which let’s you layer again. Only one issue with it – rainy days mean overcast skies and little to no natural light for us blogger to photograph with. Shorter days also mean no playtime in the evening, leaving you with a meagre weekend in which to get it all done. So, how can you overcome the challenge of cloudy skies and dark days? Let me try and help you out.
If you know nothing about artificial light and are considering an investment I’ve got a post over here, but if an artificial light source isn’t an option then I suggest you do the following:
1. Find a window and gather some white paper
Shoot next to a window even if it’s not your usual spot, get a white piece of paper (or several) to use as your background to make sure everything looks consistent even when it isn’t. Or if you want to use your surfaces’ original texture/colour use the white paper to bounce what little light there is back onto your object. In the above photo there’s some white paper on the left of the products out of shot to boost the light a little bit.
2. Go wide, long and up
On the aperture, shutter speed and ISO that is. You’ll need to give light as much of a chance as you can to get it onto your camera’s sensor. If you’re shooting handheld make sure not to go with an exposure of longer than 60 as you’ll introduce the natural movement of the body and get a blurry shot. ISO shouldn’t go more than 800 or noise might become an issue for you, I’d say 640 is pretty good.
3. Tripod and Remote
To reduce the shakes of a handheld shot just se a tripod, and to avoid further movement from your hand clicking the shutter button use a remote. If you’ve neither of the two, rest your elbows on a surface to lend further stability, and breathe out before you click the shutter. For a quick remote solution you can simply turn the camera on timer mode whilst resting it ona tripod or a stack of books – tripod alternative.
4. Consider what you’re shooting
Is it a dark object that’ll need a lot of light to be illuminated? Is it a super white packaging on a white background? Is it mirrored or metallic and reflects light? Different things needs a different shot, and thus different lighting. I find that most products that have a bit of a reflective sheen or contrast in the packaging can do very well in low-light conditions (and it’ll help your camera focus!). Consider these two shots which have the same set up but a pretty different product colouring; I’d save the Eve Lom product for a brighter day.
5. Editing is your friend
It’s no secret I like a good round of editing for my photos. There’s a lot that can be done after you’ve taken the picture to help it look more polished. From upping the exposure to fixing the white balance a little to reducing the noise, you can adjust and tweak the picture until it falls in line with the rest of your shots.
So those are my tips for making the most of the winter gloom and not getting behind on the blogging. Just gather your materials and get shooting! If you’ve got some tips of your own please share them.