A Fickle Lover

I love available light. I love the way it illuminates, morphs and changes. You might think shooting in this light would be easy, but available light is like a fickle lover, caressing you and pleasing you in one moment, then frustrating the hell out of you the next.

As a location photographer, every shot I take starts with available light; I am constantly attuned to the quality of light, its direction and source. I watch how the light plays across a scene or a face, whether it's strong, soft or somewhere in between. Oftentimes, in fact, most of the time, the available light is only the beginning and I use my own lighting equipment to supplement or strengthen the light that is there, careful to preserve the natural feeling of the existing light.  But when the available light is just right, it's magical. This photo, taken for an architectural firm in downtown New York, is a perfect example; the windows in the SoHo loft space were at least 9 feet tall and covered the entire east wall of the loft; the sky was milky-white overcast but still directional and wrapped around the subjects face beautifully. Nothing else was needed to make a beautiful portrait; the fickle lover was good to me.

 Available light photograph of James, shot for a NYC architectural firm. 70mm lens, f2.81/125th sec, ISO 640

Available light photograph of James, shot for a NYC architectural firm. 70mm lens, f2.81/125th sec, ISO 640