The Natural Light Portrait Book

Book description

What would your life be like if you could shoot absolutely amazing portraits? If you could be in any natural lighting situation, indoors or out, and know that you’d be able to create an amazing image every time? If you’ve ever dreamed of making such incredible portraits that your friends and family say, “Wait a minute, this is your photo!? You took this?” then you’re in luck.

Award-winning photography book author Scott Kelby teaches you exactly how to shoot and edit gorgeous natural light portraits. Scott shares all his secrets and time-tested techniques, as he discusses everything from his essential go-to portrait gear to camera settings to the portrait photography techniques you need to create absolutely stunning images. From window light to taming harsh outdoor light, from the tools and accessories you need to capture beautiful portraits in any lighting condition, Scott has got you covered.

Among many other topics, you’ll learn:

    • The secrets to getting super-sharp portraits every time without breaking a sweat.
    • Exactly which camera settings work best for natural light portraits (and which ones you should avoid).
    • How to create separation with a silky smooth, out-of-focus background no matter which lens you have.
    • How to tame even the harshest light and turn it to your advantage to create soft, beautiful, wrapping light.
    • Which lenses will get you the best results and why.
    • What gear you need, which accessories work best, and a ton of killer tips that will help you create better images and make the entire experience that much more fun.

It’s all here, including an entire chapter on post-processing and retouching, and another with detailed portrait recipes, and best of all, it’s just one topic per page, so you’ll get straight to the info you need fast. There’s never been a natural light portrait photography book like it!


Chapter 1: Portrait Lenses
Chapter 2: Camera Settings
Chapter 3: Window Light Portraits
Chapter 4: Shooting Outside
Chapter 5: Shooting in Direct Light
Chapter 6: Composition
Chapter 7: Posing
Chapter 8: Post-Processing
Chapter 9: Portrait Recipes

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. About the Author
  7. Contents
  8. Five Things You Need to Know Up Front . . .
  9. To Keep You from Destroying Your Life, or Worse!
  10. Chapter One Portrait Lenses It All Starts Here
    1. A 70–200mm f/2.8 or f/4 Zoom Lens
    2. An 85mm f/1.8 Lens
    3. A Fast 135mm Portrait Lens
    4. Avoid Wide-Angle Lenses for Most Portraits
    5. Should You Ever Shoot Portraits with a Wide-Angle Lens?
    6. Why I Avoid 50mm Lenses for Close-Up Portraits
    7. Yes, You Need That Lens Hood
    8. It’s These Three Things That Create Soft Backgrounds
    9. Minimum Focusing Distance
    10. How Lens Choice Affects Your Background
    11. Shoot ‘Em at What You Bought ‘Em For!
    12. Should You Buy a Lens with IS or VR? Well, That Depends
  11. Chapter Two Camera Settings F-Stop, Shutter Speed & ISO
    1. Shoot with Your Camera Set to RAW Format
    2. Choosing Your Shooting Mode
    3. Which Aperture (F-Stop) to Use
    4. Why Your Shutter Speed Is Important
    5. How to Stop Worrying about Slow Shutter Speeds
    6. When to Shoot at Your Lowest ISO
    7. What If Your Camera Chooses the Wrong Exposure?
    8. How to Keep from Damaging Your Highlights
    9. Choosing the Right White Balance
    10. How to Focus for Sharp Portraits
    11. How to Focus f/1.8 Lenses or Faster
    12. Which Eye to Focus On
    13. Why the Eye Autofocus Feature Rocks
    14. Shooting Group Shots at Wide-Open F-Stops
    15. Where to Focus for Multi-Row Group Shots
    16. Image Stabilization: On or Off?
  12. Chapter Three Window Light Portraits Working That Window Like a Dutch Master
    1. Why Direct Window Light Is Often Bad Light
    2. Turn Off Any Room Lights
    3. Move Away from the Window
    4. Move Behind a Window or Doorway
    5. For the Love of North-Facing Windows
    6. Use a Shower Curtain Liner
    7. Close the Sheers for Better Light
    8. How to Position Your Subject for a Window Light Portrait
    9. Rembrandt Window Lighting
    10. Highlight Profile Portrait
    11. What If You Don’t Want the Classic Window Light Look?
    12. Shooting with Your Subject Facing the Window
    13. What Kind of Window Am I Looking For?
    14. Watch Out for Changing Window Light
    15. Using an Open Doorway for Light
    16. Using Hard Light Shadow Patterns
    17. Shooting with Painted Backdrops
    18. Adding a Reflector
    19. Choosing the Right White Balance
    20. It Might Be Tripod Time
  13. Chapter Four Shooting Outside Making the Bright Beautiful
    1. My Outdoor Photography Secret Weapon
    2. A Small Tri-Grip 1-Stop Diffuser and Stand
    3. When to Use a Gold Reflector
    4. When to Use a White Reflector
    5. Use a Black Reflector on Cloudy Days
    6. Where to Position a Reflector
    7. Use a Reflector to Create Shade
    8. Diffusing Group Shots
    9. Avoid Dappled Light
    10. Find Shade Near the Edge of Bright Sunlight
    11. Another Great Option: Shooting in Full Shade
    12. Shooting on Cloudy Days
    13. Position Your Subject to Have Directional Light
    14. Nailing Your White Balance Outdoors
  14. Chapter Five Shooting in Direct Light Taming the Beast
    1. The Advantages of Shooting with the Sun Behind Your Subject
    2. Watch Out for Light Spilling on Their Face
    3. Using the Sun as a Rim Light or Hair Light
    4. Getting Sun Flare Effects
    5. The “Overexposing by a Stop or More” Trick
    6. The Best Time to Shoot, Hands-Down
    7. Look for Contrasting Backgrounds
    8. What to Have Your Subjects Wear
  15. Chapter Six Composition Gettin’ It All in the Frame
    1. Composing for a More Intimate Portrait
    2. Eyes Go in the Top Third of the Frame
    3. Don’t Center Your Subject in the Frame
    4. Cut Off the Top of Their Head
    5. Don’t Leave Too Much Space Above Their Head
    6. Compose So There Is Space for Your Subject to Look Into
    7. You Want to See Catchlights
    8. Avoid Distracting Background Elements
    9. Keep the Scene Simple
    10. Avoid Bright Spots in the Background
    11. Get Low for Full-Length Shots
    12. Shoot from a Slightly Higher Angle
    13. Avoid This Framing Mistake
    14. Don’t Cut Off Their Feet
    15. Environmental Portraits
    16. Photographing Kids
  16. Chapter Seven Posing How to Be a Poser
    1. What Makes a Truly Memorable Portrait?
    2. Photographing Photogenic People
    3. Build a Posing List
    4. Build Rapport
    5. Which Outfit Should They Wear First?
    6. Stop and Review Five Minutes into the Shoot
    7. The Shots between Poses
    8. Directing Your Subject during the Shoot
    9. Looking Directly Toward the Camera
    10. Looking Off-Camera
    11. The Eyes Have It
    12. Avoid Seeing Too Much Whites in the Eyes
    13. If They Have a Roundish Face, Do This
    14. If They Have a Thin Face, Do This Instead
    15. Peter Hurley’s Famous Jawline Trick
    16. Chin Down for Better Eyes and Much More
    17. Thinning the Nose
    18. Tilt Their Face Up toward the Light
    19. Don’t Let Their Expression Go Blank
    20. Add Volume and Movement to Hair
    21. Turn Their Shoulders for a More Flattering Look
    22. Don’t Shoot Flat-Footed with Straight Legs
    23. Another Trick for Thinner Waistlines
    24. Making Legs Look Thinner
    25. Keep Their Arms Away from Their Sides
    26. Sitting? Put Them on the Edge
    27. Keep Arms, Legs, Fingers, Everything Bent
    28. Avoid Showing an Open Palm
    29. Keep Fingers Closed, Not Open
    30. Add Simple Props
  17. Chapter Eight Post-Processing The Important Lightroom & Photoshop Stuff
    1. Adding a Sunburst Effect
    2. Adding a Soft Glow Effect
    3. Adding a Sun Flare Effect
    4. Desaturating Skin
    5. Removing Blemishes
    6. Reducing Wrinkles or Moles
    7. Reducing Shiny Spots on the Skin
    8. Enhancing the Irises
    9. Sharpening Portraits
    10. Brightening the Eyes
    11. The Perfectly Clear Retouching Plug-In
    12. Cinematic Color Grading for Portraits
    13. Using Liquify’s Face-Aware Feature
    14. Removing Fly-Away Hairs along the Outside
    15. Brightening the Face, So It’s the Focal Point
    16. Adding a Subtle Vignette
    17. Adding a Spotlight Effect
    18. Adding Texture to Solid Backgrounds
    19. Brightening Skin
    20. Smoothing Skin
  18. Chapter Nine Portrait Recipes The Ingredients for Making Great Portraits
    1. Overhead Sun Portrait with Diffuser BTS
      1. Final Image
    2. Large Area Portrait with Diffuser BTS
      1. Final Image
    3. Backlit Sun Flare Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image
    4. Backlit Indoor Window Light Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image
    5. Direct Sun Location Portrait with Diffuser BTS
      1. Final Images
    6. Harsh Direct Light Portrait with Diffuser BTS
      1. Final Image
    7. Dramatic Window Light Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image
    8. Classic Window Light Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image
    9. Cloudy Outdoor Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image
    10. Direct Sunlight Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image
    11. Glass Door Light Portrait with Diffuser BTS
      1. Final Image
    12. Window Light Bridal Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image
    13. Low-Perspective Bridal Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image
    14. Open Shade Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image
    15. Epic-Style Indoor Window Light Portrait BTS
      1. Final Image

Product information

  • Title: The Natural Light Portrait Book
  • Author(s): Scott Kelby
  • Release date: November 2019
  • Publisher(s): Rocky Nook
  • ISBN: 9781681984261