Photography lighting knowledge – The Key To Good Photos


One of the most crucial elements that bear a commendable impact while shooting photos is photography lighting. Whether you are using an expensive camera such as Hassleblad or a cheap one, adjusting the light would be the key. The fact that most people neglect while shooting photos is lighting – can do disasters to a photo if not contrived earlier.

There are certain tricks attached to every trade, the same continues with photography. Even if you are not in possession of the world’s best camera, you can handle the photography lighting pretty well; there are techniques that need to be known. More than having lights all around your shooting-location it is imperative that you learn how to use the available light to the best of your advantage.

Light is essential to making photographs and you must understand how to use it in order to make your pictures as interesting as possible. There are two basic types of lights: natural and artificial. The first comes from the sun, the other from man-made sources.

The essence of lighting

To start with photography lighting you need to begin with the difference between shooting indoor (for example, your room or studio) and shooting outdoors in the open space. Well the greatest deviation that you would notice between these two situations is the amount of light being received from the source. The available light source – natural light (sunlight) or an artificial light (from a lamp) can produce a world of difference in photography.

Shooting in Outdoor light

While clicking photos in natural light, you are expected not to use the flash. You may doubt the overcast days; well this doesn’t create a big difference because the sun holds enough light even on those days. Only in case the situation requires some serious heavy-duty lighting your flash should be kept off.

Have your back to the Sun when taking photos to avoid the sunlight. Remember, the glare of sunlight on your lens is going to ruin the photos. When photographing a moving subject, say a model you can easily control it.

Now, imagine a situation where your subject is a blazing house on fire and the sun is directly at your back. You are supposed to be prepared with filters, which would filter the sunlight preventing sunspots on your photograph. In case you cannot afford filters the way out is to shoot the object from an angle instead of head on

Lighting for indoors

The usual lights you can use in studios are fluorescent tube, bright photoflood, tungsten halogen lamp, electronic flash and a few other rare types. There are two things you need to consider indoors – how strong is the lighting you use and how close is it to your subject. You have to be critical about photography lighting while indoors as poor lighting could turn your photos grainy even when you use high-resolution digital camera.

Usually, you would find that the artificial lighting system in studios use two sources, the dominant and the additional subsidiary, which typically depends on the configuration of the object. These sources are generated either directly or through the reflectors positioned accordingly.

The artificial illumination is a combination of direct lighting, indirect lighting, and a variety of light reflectors, flash units, windows, and other light sources being positioned to attain the desired effects. You can use them to illuminate the scenes or objects to be photographed directly or indirectly.

In most of the films, commercial and photographic settings you would find either incandescent or fluorescent light being employed. These incandescent or fluorescent lighting systems are typically set above or below the camera, or on the side of the camera to produce the desired illumination.

You must have heard photographers talking about existing light, ambient light and available light. Irrespective of the term, whether it is natural or artificial, what matters is the photography lighting present in the immediate subject area.


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