Light for free using natural light sources

Lighting - Tokyo

Imagine if every photo was lit using a flash gun, well the same goes for cinematic scenes. Often some of the most interesting and varied light is already right in front of you. Not everything has to be studio light rig based.

I don’t think of ‘lighting a scene’ as always directly controlled, often it is wild. Lighting you can control is only half of the cinematographer’s job and so many films make use of the sun as a key light. Terrence Malick has based a career on magic hour light!

The world of natural light is expansive and varied. As someone who has chased light a lot with DSLRs, and avoided the expense, power requirements and weight of having to carry lights around with me, here are some of my tips for a successful natural light shoot.

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Superb affordable GH2 tactical shooting rig!

Sorry – out of stock

This rig is awesome. The first of it’s kind made especially for the Panasonic GH2 and GH1, it has a trigger release to start and stop recording on a pistol grip so you never have to take your hand away. It is far more affordable than the usual DSLR rig as well despite being all aluminium and with the unique pistol grip being made in Japan.

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Computar 12mm F1.3 with full sensor coverage on the GH2 and AF100

Above, shot with the actual 12.5mm F1.3 prime lens

Image credit Y.B. Hudson III

Stanley Kubrick often used to like shooting with an 18mm lens for his trademark wide angle style, with S35mm film. The 18 is roughly 24mm in 35mm photography terms.

A more recent example is the Canon 24mm F1.4L on a 5D Mark II used to such great effect in Undercity (below). It is this kind of look I want to create with my GH2.

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