Thursday, 24 February 2011


CINEMA LIFE: POTOGRAPHIC LIGHT: "Lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography. The lighting you use will determine the entire mood of your end photogra..."


CINEMA LIFE: WORKING WITH OUTDOOR LIGHTING: "The prefix photo- means 'light, or radiant energy.' Photography is all about light. How light is used in making a photograph can make all th..."


CINEMA LIFE: DIFFERENT TYPE OF LIGHTING: "Different Types of Lighting - BacklightingTake the image as above but use fill-in flash to lighten the subject. This way you get ..."


Different Types of Lighting - Backlighting
  • Take the image as above but use fill-in flash to lighten the subject. This way you get a perfectly exposed all round image.
  • Instead of a flash, use a reflector to brighten the subject, very natural and effective. Lastolitemake an excellent range of expandable circular reflectors.
Different Types of Lighting

Different Types of Lighting - Side lighting
When shooting any subject with side lighting you are going to end up with deep shadows. These may well enhance the mood of some scenes and be quite welcome and effective, but for most "people photography" this can be quite unflattering unless again, you are aiming for a certain mood in the image.
Different Types of Lighting - Top Heavy lighting
As with side lighting, you are going to get shadows on most subjects. Use the above techniques to suit the mood. Take a few shots using different techniques; the beauty of photography is that no two subjects and no lighting situations are ever exactly the same.
Different Types of Lighting - Full frontal lighting
Whilst this is the most pleasing of all lighting for everyday subjects (i.e. the light source is behind the camera), and is the easiest to expose correctly, there are times when it can cause its own problems.
Bright sunlight on a person can cause them to squint meaning facial lines and small eyes. Not very flattering. Unless you want the subject to wear sunglasses, you can use the backlighting technique above using a reflector or fill-in flash.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


The prefix photo- means "light, or radiant energy." Photography is all about light. How light is used in making a photograph can make all the difference in the resulting image. Light defines space, place, time of day, and mood. Creative use of light can be used for dramatic impact, to lend extra depth, and to add to the general composition of the photograph. The following tips can help you to use light to your advantage for improving your photography, no matter what type of camera you use.
What is the time of day?
Bright sunlight, midday, is not the best time for photography. In fact, it may be the worst, if you think of light in terms of its interaction with shadow. Light and shadow form compositional elements that continuously change as the light changes. At midday, there is very little shadow; existing shadows are harsh and contrasty. Sharply contrasted elements can sometimes lend themselves to an interesting composition, but in most cases, hard bright light washes away interesting elements in landscapes, and creates unflattering shadows across people's faces. In landscape photography, there is no "magic hour." However, every scene has its moment of prime light, and with patience you may be able to capture it. Long after high noon, for example, the light steadily begins to improve. During late afternoon, shadows become part of the composition, evoking drama and emotion. Light later in the evening takes on a golden or reddish glow. Take the time to continue shooting a scene as the light fades into the evening. You may be amazed at the results.

What direction is the light coming from?
When shooting outdoors, frontlighting (sun behind the photographer) is most commonly used and the least interesting direction of light for your images. It works well for showing great detail on the surface of your subject, such as flowers blossoms, but sidelighting is a much better light to use whenever feasible. Sidelighting adds depth impact to your photos, whether your subject is a pinecone, sand dune ripples, a vast forested landscape, or a bustling cityscape. The most dramatic is backlighting, or shooting "against the light." This technique is difficult to master, but worth it. Backlighting can be used to create silhouettes of the subjects in the foreground (often people) with wonderful results. Think backlighting when photographing anything translucent such as misty spider webs, delicate blooms, or wispy blond hair. When using backlight to photograph a person, use your flash or a reflector to lighten the face and avoid an unintentional silhouette.


Lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography.  The lighting you use will determine the entire mood of your end photograph, whether it is playful, serious, dramatic or somewhere in between.  This is the aspect of photography that most allows for creative freedom on the part of the photographer.  With the way you use light, you have the ability to make your photographs a true reflection of your personality.

There are no right or wrong ways to use light, only certain given facts about various situations.  For example, taking a direct picture of metal or glass is going to cause the resulting picture to have a reflection of the flash, or flare as it is called.  To avoid this flare, it is suggested you aim your flash at a forty-five degree angle to the surface of metal or glass.  However, you might feel the flare will add something to your picture.  Allowing the flare to exist is not wrong, it is your choice in this particular situation.  That, in essence, is the point of learning certain rules on light, to give you the freedom of choice in your final outcome.

The basic rule is pictures taken in diffuse light will be softer and have fewer shadows.  Harsh, direct light increases the number and depth of shadows and also adds drama to a photo.  The first thing you must consider is which type of light is best for the look you are trying to create.  Portraits are most often taken with soft light.  Bouncing whatever light you use off a backdrop or ceiling will soften it before the light reaches your subject