Artificial Vs. Natural Light

Most non-photo people don’t pay attention to the lighting of a photograph, weather it’s natural light, artificial light, bouncing light all over, or what have you. The argument will arise: which is better, artificial light or natural light? This is a deep subject that depends on many factors, but as usual this is my take on the subject.


Natural light is neat because of the quality of it, i.e. it’s color temperatures, clouds, additive and subtractive, can defuse it light, etc. On the other side of things artificial light is always trying to replicate the effects of natural light.

Many photographers use the available light around them very well such as the Photo Journalist Chris Hondros. His work was amazing and shot all with natural light.  His work is a testament to what a skilled photographer can do with just available light with the environmental elements affecting the quality of the light. 


Artificial light is what I use most of the time because I want total control of my scene.  Once you learn the basics of artificial light you can start to do some very fun and stunning things with it that will set your work apart from the others.

Another reason to learn artificial light is that there are times when Mother Nature isn’t going to cooperate with you. From there you’ll need to know how to recreate what nature does.

 One of my favorite photographers is David LaChapelle. This guy’s work has lighting that is so well done it’s scary! The amount of control he has is proves to me that artificial is the way to go to set yourself apart from other photographers.


In the end it’s your call what you prefer to use to capture light and record light. I find myself always amazed by both forms of capture hence why I brought up two different photographers with great work. My hope is that you go check their work out then go have fun with your cameras. That is what photography is about.