Who needs flash?

There’s a common misconception that you need lots of light and lots of lighting to take great portraits.  Well, that’s not the case.  Modern cameras have excellent high ISO performance (ISO in photography is a measure of sensitivity to light), so the amount of light you need to get a practical exposure is reduced.  The images in this post were taken on a very gloomy day.  Because it was raining it was not easy to be photographing outside.  Actually it was very easy, but you got very wet!

Daylight portrait 1" by Derek Gale

Daylight portrait 1″ by Derek Gale

I had a very small space to work in, and was between the subject and a window.  The light was lovely and soft, but there wasn’t much of it so I put the ISO up to 1000.  In this image I used a very symmetrical composition and a large lens aperture (f1.8) to accentuate the subject’s large eyes.

"Daylight portrait 2" by Derek Gale

“Daylight portrait 2” by Derek Gale

Here I used a smaller aperture, as I wanted to get a reasonable amount of her front eye, lips and nose in focus.  By using a high ISO setting I was still able to use a shutter speed of 1/60 sec to avoid camera shake, and the smaller aperture has given some softly contrasting texture in the background.  The off-centre composition gives her plenty of space to look into.

Bad light?  No such thing.

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