Artificial versus natural light: Which is better for portraiture?


posted Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 3:30 PM EDT


When capturing portraits, one of the first decisions you need to make is what kind of light you want to use. Some photographers prefer using natural light. It's no-nonsense, relatively easy to work with and it can produce excellent results. Other photographers opt instead for using artificial light, oftentimes trying to recreate a somewhat natural look, but with more flexibility than you have when working with available light. After all, the sun doesn't produce great light all the time. Each approach has its pros and cons and are viable options for portraiture.

In the video below, photographer Manny Ortiz is joined by fellow photographer and YouTuber Jessica Kobeissi. They photograph the same model using their own preferred approaches, Manny using off-camera flash and Jessica opting instead for natural light.

Kobeissi opted for a Canon 5D Mark III with 24-70mm f/2.8L lens whereas Ortiz uses the Sony A7R III with Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master prime. His flash of choice comes from Flashpoint. The two photographers then not only prefer different lighting, but value different qualies in their lenses too, with Jessica opting for a slower, but more versatile, zoom and Ortiz going for the fast portrait prime. Which images do you like better in the video below?

(Via Manny Ortiz