features :: north-facing light
“Miss Rhode Island, describe your perfect date,” (William Shatner) Stan Fields famously asked Heather Burns (Cheryl Frasier) in the beauty pageant at the heart of Miss Congeniality. “That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25, because it’s not too hot, not too cold”.
This line from Miss Congeniality always reminds me of one such “perfect days” when I was shooting a Spring wedding in Utah. Flowers were in full bloom, the colors of nature exploding everywhere, the temperature a solid 74 degrees, and not a single cloud to block our view of the big open blue sky. It was so perfect that one of the bride’s uncles expressed his overwhelming approval of the day when he said to me “You couldn’t ask for a more perfect day to take pictures.” I simply smiled and reassured him I was just as stoked about the day as he was. However, inside I was sweating bullets. The direct (high noon) sunlight and lack of shade had me in a panic for just how I was going to pull off the hat trick of evenly exposing a large group shot in this “perfect day”.
I eventually found an easement on the north side of a building that allowed me to conceal the group in the safety of shade. When I delivered the finished images my client reacted with satisfaction and excitement they used exclamations like “You are a wizard!” and “These are just magic”. The truthfully the credit was not mine, the magic that achieved those wizard results were provided by the science of northern light.
Why do photographers go nuts about northern light?
Most natural light photographers become experts at seeing and using the sun’s light to make compelling, beautiful images. But why is northern light so coveted? Well not to go all NASA on you but it has to do with how the sun arcs in the sky throughout the year. In short, windows or exposures that are north-facing have a soft, even light regardless on the time of day or year. This even light will consistently provide a filtered, even look from sunrise to sunset. As an artist that needs to reproduce a consistent branded look and light source, north-facing light is heaven sent (pun intended).
Located in Ogden Utah, Ultraviolet Studios is a natural light oasis for natural light photographers. You’ve got one guess as to which direction our studio windows face. Yep! That magical direction that every compass is compelled to point toward- north. Our north-facing studio receives light from 4, 10’x12′ windows and a glass paneled garage door spanning 15′ floor to ceiling.
Let me condense everything about Ultraviolet Studios and our north-facing light
- Ultraviolet studios is geographically situated on a cosmic natural northern light vortex providing the most beautiful, even light for your portraits. These images, taken by our studio clients, demonstrate consistent conditions for natural light photographers. Like the even tone of these images? You and north-facing light can make some magic too.
- Our studio provides the possibility of 10+ shooting spaces.
- Shooting outdoors can be tricky and time consuming at best, especially when you need a consistent light source. Moving location to location, clock ticking, sweat pooling in search of open-shade sweet spots with northern light against a variety of backdrops has us exhausted writing about this. Listen, we have restrooms/changing rooms so you no longer have to find a bush or a big tree to do a wardrobe change or take care of “business”.
- When booking a studio as a natural light photographer, be sure to ask how the studio/location windows are situated and what times of day are best for your shooting style.