10 Tips for Photography Lighting

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10 Tips for Photography Lighting

Photography lighting literally means painting a canvas with light. This blog showcases the the role and importance of light in photography. We bring you some tips to efficiently use light in your photography. We will also discuss some simple tricks that can help you create magic with light.

Broad Light is Better

10 Tips for Photography Lighting

Light coming out of a narrow source has a hard tone to it, which creates heavy shadows and sharp contrast. Whereas, light coming from a comprehensive source has a soft tone. It creates fewer shadows and gives more illumination. Try to position the subject near a large window, which does not get direct sunlight to create a soft illuminating effect

The Farther the Source of light, the Harder it is

Light coming from far off sources give a harsh tone. Whereas, the light that is closer is broad in comparison with the subject, and gives a softer tone. When shooting indoor with available lighting, move lamps or other sources of light closer to the subject for more flattering light.


Diffusion has a Scattering Effect on Light

Diffusion scatters the light and makes it softer. This effect can also be seen when clouds come in front of the sunlight, leading to shadows fading out. Material such as translucent plastic or white fabric over a harsh light source can diffuse light and give a softer and broader light on the subject.

Bouncing Lights also Give a Diffused Look

When light bounces off on a matte surface, it spreads around a larger surface and diffuses its tone. This creates a soft and sparkling effect on the subject. You can make your own reflector just by crumpling up a sheet of aluminum foil and spread it out. Now take a cardboard and pin it with the foil. You can use this foil as a reflector as it bounces off harsh light, making it soft. It also creates a glittery effect on the subject.

Light Falls off More from a Farther Source

10 Tips for Photography Lighting

It is seen that light gets dimmer if the source is far from the subject. If you move twice as far from the source of light, you will only receive only one quarter of the light. Using flash outdoors on a brightly lit day will fade out the shadow and illuminate the images without affecting the background.

Light Falloff Can be Used to Differentiate the Subject from the Background

When you keep a subject close to the light source, the fallout of the subject will be at the background, making the subject more pronounced that the background. If you are shooting indoor with just one light source (Eg a window), then take the subject closer to the window. The fallout from the subject will fall in the background, highlighting the subject.

Outdoors offer Best Lighting

Sun is a the best source of light; it is rich and warm in tone. This highlights the subject pretty well and makes it look good. A cloudy day with less direct harsh light is the best day for outdoor shooting as it bounces of harsh light and creates less shadow. If it's a bright sunny day on the day of the shoot, look for areas or objects that diffuse the sunlight. The open shade of a large tree can efficiently diffuse sunlight.

Shadows Create Volume

Creating a deeper shadow by lighting up from three sides gives volume to the subject and provides a three dimensional appeal to it. You can create a dramatic portrait by positioning a light above the subject slightly to the side, giving the subject a dramatic shadow. Make sure not to place the light too high, or the shadow of the nose will fall more the halfway down the upper lip.

A Flash can Come Handy

If there is not enough light, a flash helps greatly to add some much needed illumination. All you have to make sure is you use it correctly. Flash can prove to be a handy accessory to balance the light and eliminate shadows from the subject. It also helps to reduce red eye from an image. If you are taking a picture by a bright window, you are likely to get a silhouette of the subject. Flash helps in filling the scene with enough lighting to give out the details of the subject effectively.

Even Though its Looks White, Light has Colors

Even though light appears white, it has a color tone called as color temperature. We usually don't realize it, but it's always there. For example, the light at early morning and evening appears to be more warm and yellow as compared to a clear afternoon, where it appears to be more blue. You can regularize this effect by adjusting the white balance in your camera. Landscapes shot on sunny days could tend to be very blue. If you set your camera color balance to cloudy, it will add a warm filter to the image, giving a golden glow.