The Dark Forest

Can’t see the photography forest for the trees? Find out how to capture lovely natural-light portraits.

In this natural light photography class, you’ll follow Karl as he shoots on location at midday, achieving great results despite the harsh, hard sunlight typical of that time of day.

You’ll learn the importance of pre-visualization and knowing your equipment. You’ll also discover the simple accessory that you can use to emulate the natural, dappled light one would expect to see in a forest.

The result is a beautiful, subtly lit image taken using just natural light and simple accessories – one you can easily replicate for yourself.

In this class:

  • Portrait photography using natural light
  • How to use natural light for portraits outside
  • How to create a dappled lighting effect
  • Simple accessories for photography
  • Understanding your equipment

If you enjoy this class, check out Emerald Forest and The Train Carriage.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.

© Karl Taylor


  1. DougHowell

    Killer reflector, simple but super effective. The simplest ideas are the toughest to come up. This one goes in the memory banks.

  2. Great tip, something so simple. A sheet of metal has a great affect would the reverse have the same affect as in a sheet of card with holes in and a static light, I no what in doing this weekend, great teaching Karl love it opens your mind. Many thanks james

  3. Charliestephens

    when you have your model walking into the shot are you using AI servo to maintain focus?

  4. I like the natural light instruction. I do most of my photography on day trips out or holidays so its coming in handy. Only issue being opening hours of some locations mean its quite harsh light during the day, though I find the light after a rain shower with a mix of sunlight and diffused fluffy clouds give a nice light. Choosing the subjects and positioning can just rely on cloud timing! I haven’t got tons equipment yet and reflectors and filters are cheap enough to make a difference over buying studio kit.
    I made the mistake of using a speedlight, although up into the air using the diffuser on the flash, there was dappled light through trees and overexposed the dapple light on the face. But we live and learn.

    1. Hello, continuous shooting right?

      Im wondering what is the difference between a “plain” metal reflector and this one. Ive never seen a reflector with these “holes” . It creates more dynamic reflection?thanks

      1. Hi, Yes this is part of our natural light series. In this video you see me create the holes with a hammer on the sheet of metal. The purpose of the dents or ‘holes’ is so that the reflection from the metal is not uniform.

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