In photography, the subject and angle of the shots are critical but if the lighting is off, then everything is wasted. Over or under exposure, glare and reflections are all things one would want to avoid when looking to capture that perfect moment. Read on for some tips on how to ensure lighting is exactly what it should be to achieve that perfect photo.
A key point to consider here is what type of style is trying to achieve. Extreme contrasts can have interesting effects. The whole goal is to make sure that they were intentional. Knowing this, one should practice in natural lighting and then advance to artificial lighting as their understanding of good light improves.
A bright sunny day, with the sun directly overhead will result in the hard light which will produce sharp contrasts and highlights. One should account for this and learn various ways to improve what is provided. Since natural lighting is not easily controlled, the simplest way to effect it is through adjusting the time of day one takes their photos. The location will have an influence as well, with some parts of the world having longer time periods when ideal light conditions exist. Photography of people in natural lighting is something that most beginners should avoid at first till they can account for all these variables reliably.
Artificial light, some purists would argue cannot achieve the same brilliance as natural light. That being said, the ability to be able to control the lighting conditions in this type of environment, makes it much more attractive to beginners and professionals alike. Positioning lights in various places, while adjusting distance and angle can dramatically effect the lighting situation. Using certain types of bulbs such as LED’s or halogen lights will result in a much different photo than one taken with regular bulbs. One could also diffuse the light, with individual light assemblies which make it easy to place screens in front of them for effect. Adding color is yet another possibility in this instance through colored filters.
Lastly, reflectors can be used in both natural or artificial lighting conditions. By taking the existing light and bouncing it off of reflective materials or even a plain sheet of paper can achieve lighting conditions not commonly seen.
As one can see, there are many ways to utilize lighting to achieve the desired outcome. Developing one’s style by experimenting with all the possibilities in lighting is a sure fire way to capture that perfect photo.