|Donald Leon Farrow works hard as a traveling nurse anesthetist. But when he’s not focused with laser precision on his nursing duties, Donald Leon Farrow comfortably enjoys his second career as a freelance photographer. Recently Donald Leon Farrow answered some questions about photography and lighting and the lessons he’s learned about adjusting for these differences.
Q: What is it that you enjoy about photography?
Donald Leon Farrow: Photography is more of a creative outlet, which offers a pleasant change from the work of nursing. But there is a technical side to photography.
Q: How so?
Donald Leon Farrow: Understanding light, composition and how a camera works in general can make the difference between good photography and great photography.
Q: Is it better to take photos using outside lighting or inside lighting?
Donald Leon Farrow: Both have their benefits. In general, it depends on the subject.
Q: What’s the difference, lighting-wise?
Donald Leon Farrow: Outside provides natural light that is hard to duplicate in a studio. The result is an effect that is more authentic than indoor light.
Q: What do you mean by “more authentic?”
Donald Leon Farrow: Outdoor light tends to be more intense, with golden hues. Indoor light tends to have more blues and greens.
Q: The problem with outdoor light is that it can’t be aimed…
Donald Leon Farrow: Yes, obviously the photographer can’t do anything to change the direction of the sun, which is why you often see professional photography crews waiting around half the day for the sun to be in the perfect spot.
Q: If sunlight is available indoors, is it better to use that than the flash?
Donald Leon Farrow: Natural light will almost always look better, and today’s high quality digital cameras can produce high-quality indoor photographs with minimal light. Even here – natural light through windows can produce a more vibrant photo. In certain indoor circumstances a flash may be necessary.
Q: What time of day is best for optimum lighting?
Donald Leon Farrow: For outdoors lighting, the times just following sunrise and immediately prior to sunset are best. There’s a warm glow that’s preferable to direct sunlight.
Q: What if there’s no direct sunlight?
Donald Leon Farrow: Professional photographers can learn to light a studio in a way that takes great pictures. For those who don’t have access to that kind of lighting, adjusting the ISO on the camera can help make your photos pop. At the same time, cloudy days produce a naturally diffused light – which is excellent for portrait photography as the diffused light leaves no harsh shadows.
Donald Leon Farrow was born and resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. He received his nursing degrees from Keiser University in Clearwater, Florida, followed by his degree in Photographic Arts and Production from the School of Photographic Arts in Ottawa. He works for various institutions as a Traveling Nurse of Anesthetist, and then as a Freelance Photographer. Donald Leon Farrow loves his nursing work and new advances in this field. In his non-work, non-study hours, Donald Leon Farrow works photography consignments and practices his art.