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Sometimes Even the Sun is Superfluous

I’m not a big fan shooting without light direction. Overcast skies make a nice, large, light source, but there tends to be no direction to it unless you add strobe or bounce light into the scene somehow. This can be a portable reflector or a large one – like a building.

The one exception where I like open shade or an overcast day without light direction is with young children. They seem to provide their own glow from the light of life within, providing their own directional source:

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. |

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. |


© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. |

Babies and toddlers are soft (temper tantrums notwithstanding). Soft light is appropriate here – horses for courses as the Brits say. It doesn’t get any softer than that great big softbox in the sky. As we get older, shadow becomes more important in defining features. It’s actually more of a bell curve; we start, and end up, in diapers, so it makes sense that light follows us too in our journey through life. That type of light is appropriate when we reach the other side of the curve as well.

For now, I’ll stick with the young’uns.

Good thing too that such natural softness works well. Keeping toddlers in the light is difficult at best. The less to worry about while shooting, the better. Props help, too. A lot.



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