The Importance of Lighting in Photography

There are many crucial elements that build together to make a successful photograph, but there is one magical element that is most important of all, lighting. Light is one of the most vital factors on earth but in photography, lighting is the magic that contributes to stunning and well-built photos. Without it, your photographs will be dark and lifeless. How it is controlled, whether artificial or natural determines the quality of images that we make with our cameras. Depending on whether natural or artificial light is used, the color, quality and angle changes, thus the photographer has to use the light available to produce the greatest effect.

Capturing Photos In Low Light Situations

Capturing photos in places with low light may be a huge challenge. Using the camera flash can make the subject appear washed out, due to the harsh light produced by the flash. On the other hand, not using the flash can make the photo appear blurred. To compensate for the dim light, you can set a higher ISO setting, to allow the shutter to take full advantage of any available light. Also, you may want to mount your camera to avoid unnecessary movements.

How Well You Position Your Lighting Will Determine the Quality Of Your Photos

Even though there is really no standard formula for using lighting when taking photographs, there are just basics of what you can do when shooting pictures. For example, a photographer should avoid taking photos of people or objects with light behind them, or what is commonly know as backlighted, such as in front of a bright window.

The Importance of Lighting in Photography
Example of bad backlighting.

This can make your subject look dark unless if you want to create a dramatic effect on your pictures. The best thing to do when capturing photos is with the subjects facing the source of light, to achieve a clear image. Side lighting produces a stunning effect since it shows the shape of the object, and casts a partial shadow, thus producing amazingly dramatic photos.

What Shaping and Manipulating Light Does to a Photograph

The Importance of Lighting in Photography
Front Lighting.

Adding a diffuser to your source of light minimizes harsh shadows, glare and blemishes on your subject. If a photographer is using artificial light, then adding a diffuser makes it soft, making it look more like natural light. Also, light can be manipulated around and on an object to make differing images of that same object. This can be achieved using reflectors and diffusers. Manipulating and shaping the right give the photographer control over the direction of lighting and how broad it will appear.

Top 3 Sources of Lighting For Photographers

Natural Lighting – natural light is used when the shoot is taking place outdoors or close to a large window. Natural light is more flattering and it allows for a better quality picture than other sources of light. However, to take full advantage of natural light, the shoot has to take place during the but not at high noon when the sun’s glares are prominent. Also, the place should not be shadowy since shadows may affect picture quality.

Artificial Lighting – Many artificial lights are designed to serve as work lights. However, if the shoot is taking place indoors, these lights may be very beneficial. The major benefit of working with artificial light is that it is very bright and a white backdrop can be used to allow for flawless lighting. The lighting can shine off to the side to create a bit of an ambient glow if that is the desired effect.

Camera Flash – Sometimes there are cases where getting the right lighting doesn’t prove to be as effective as required. In these instances, the camera flash can be a good source of light. However, it may be tricky to work with a flash since the best photographers have a hard time with camera flash settings. If a photographer wants to rely on a flash, he should make himself familiar with flash and its settings before the photo shoot.

It is vital not to be afraid of lighting since it’s there to be taken advantage of. As a photographer, lighting should be thought of a painting brush. A painting brush can be used with different techniques to produce a wide range of results. The same case applies to lighting.

Photography Tips for Shooting Weddings

Photography Tips for Shooting Weddings
Every time you shoot with your camera, there is always an intent to take a good photo. It does not matter if you are using your smartphone or a Nikon digital camera. The real issue is the ability to capture a good shot, and the following tips could be just what you need. This article will assume that you are not a professional, nor an amateur with years of experience. If you have not shot pictures of anything outside of selfies and pictures of your pet, then pay attention.

First, always have your camera with you. No one really knows when an opportunity is going to present itselve, but when it does, you should be ready to capture that moment. If you’re the official photographer in the family, everyone’s counting on you to chronicle not only the wedding itself but as well as interesting things that may occur around the event.

Photography Tips for Shooting Weddings
Always be prepared to snap fleeting moments when you are at a wedding.

Take time to learn about your camera settings, even just the basics. Today’s cameras may be set to automatic or semi-automatic mode, hence your camera adjusts itself to apply the right amount of exposure. However, you may also want to tinker with the different modes well ahead of time, experiment on them, and see how you can achieve various looks to your images. Go around and take some shots, and then change the shutter speed or aperture (if you are using a standard film camera) to add a unique edge to your photos.

For a more dramatic portrait, you may reduce the exposure level to create a darker image. On the other hand, you may increase the exposure level to produce a brighter image. These settings may vary from one camera to another, hence it’s best to check the camera’s user manual to see how yours work.

Focus is another important aspect in photography. Nobody likes a blurry image, so at least ensure that the bride and groom are acceptably sharp. Smart phone cameras help you to focus by touching the LCD screen.

Photography Tips for Shooting Weddings
The green viewfinder is your friend. Never shoot a digital photo without tapping on it first.

You accomplish the same thing with a digital camera by selecting a focus point while looking throught the viewfinder and pressing the shutter button halfway.

For portraits, the focal point should be the eyes. For landscapes, you’d most probably want to focus everything.

Lighting

Find opportunities for photography when light quality is at its best. The best time to take pictures is during the morning or late afternoon, when the sun is near the horizon. During these times, the sunlight is less harsh, and will produce images with more depth and dimension.

During mid-day, photos taken will have less contrast and will look flat. If this can’t be avoided, position your subjects on a shaded area so the sunlight isn’t beating down on them directly.

Another technique is to zoom in with the lens in order to cut out most of the surroundings and capture the subjects more clearly.

Pay Attention to Framing

Be conscious of the camera level. Even if you can correct this in a computer, a good photographer ensures that the horizon line is aligned. You may use the camera’s leveling feature, or utilize the grid lines reflected on the screen.

Photography Tips for Shooting Weddings
Bad alignment takes the focus away from the subjects and puts it on the photograph itself.

Very important; keep the camera’s lens clean to avoid nasty spots on the photos. This is especially true of smart phone cameras, since we usually handle them with abandon. Cleaning them with microfiber cloth or lens wipes before you begin shooting should do the trick.

So, do you still need to hire a professional photographer in your future events? Of course, you do. Rare occasions such as weddings and proms are planned well ahead, thus they deserve to be captured in a perfect photo and be treasured forever.