Direction of Light: Your Key to Better Portrait Photography


Photographer Neil van Niekerk says, "I was asked the following question in an interview: 'Is there a single thing that you can tell us that would improve our flash photography instantly if we were to do this one simple thing?'

"My answer came from a simple realization that took me years to really grasp: It is all about the direction and the quality of the light. Whether you use natural light, on-camera flash, off-camera flash, multiple-light setups or video light, it all comes down to exactly that—the direction and quality of light. Once you recognize this aspect of photography and lighting, then the door is wide open for you to be able to use any light source comfortably."

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Such a great comment on noise in images. No one but the photographer or photo industry writer will every see noise in your images, as long as it is not outrageously bad. Sharpness and depth of field considerations should be given preference to low ISO. Billboards can be printed at 30dpi - would we ever know? Noise is analogous in a photo print.

Great class!! Thank you - very helpful for all sorts of lighting environments!

Wonderful presentation! Thank you so much! I found the info on control of bounced light directionality especially useful.

LOVED the class. I think all your simple tips about lighting makes wedding photography so much more doable for me. Ive always been inconflict with what type of lighting to buy and I think everything you said made perfect sense. Again, I loved it all! I think you just filled in all the gaps for me!

Big Mahalos!


Thank you for sharing this information I did find it very helpful , using existing light in a resourceful way. I look forward to more helpful videos for iso and f stops.

terrific. thank you.

Thank you. Learned a lot. I have been using his "black-thingy", which I learned from his web site, for about 2 years.

very nice video - makes real good sense - and some training not just pushing his own talent or work like many -
would love to see more class with him - but thanks for this class

Great, informative video with a master. Just unbelievable how instinctive this stuff is for him. Very helpful for him to break down his thinking. Ken

Thanks Neil! ... Very informative video about using on camera flash with various subjects & situations! It just goes to show how anyone can use on camera flash to get the results they are looking for.

This was an excellent presentation! Extremely well worth the time to sit through as it provided so many valuable tips regarding the use of light - no matter what you photograph. Thanks for offering it!!

Insightful and good to see a Afrikaans guy rock. Thanks Neil. cool to receive the B&H newsletter (1) and (2) to receive such quality video education. Thanks!

Very informative and opened up fresh ways to use lighting sources. So simple, yet effective impact.
Thank you Neil! You rock!

Niel van Kirk's workshop presentation was long, but I will rewatch it since it had so many photography and technical pointers on light and so much more. I have forwarded it to some beginner photographers since he had great info even for serious beginners. . Thanks

It is an excellent class. Neil has made the very complex and intricate knowledge/skill/tricks into a very easy-to-comprehend and easy-to-practice concept and method. A lot of practical examples. Learned quite a lot.

Thanks much for this very informative video. Good layman's terms for amateur photographers like me. And Neil wasn't trying to sell anything, just teach. Thanks Neil and B&H for making this available.

Excellent, thank you.

Cheers Neil & B&H! You rock guys!

Great information, Neil kept my interest throughout the video. I look forward to exploring more of his work. Thanks B&H for offering these newsletters, love them!

This was very educational. Thank you Neil and thank you BH.

Just got hooked up to high speed internet and watched this video, very informative. Thanks B&H!

Very useful video! I had recently read one of Neil's books on On Camera Flash and had enjoyed it thoroughly and the video was further clarifying. Look forward to more sessions with him on related subjects. Thank you soo much!