I know many of you out there have probably screamed out at one time or another the word "HELP"!, when it comes to lighting in the photos. How do you make the lighting perfect in photos, and how can you capture the exact lighting that you see, with your camera?
The simple truth to this question is you really cannot capture the exact lighting with the camera. That's because cameras cannot "capture" the highlights, contrasts, brightness and correct exposure perfectly. It can come pretty close, and of course, a few tips on how to make it happen, will definitely help.
Tip 1. Set your camera to the "correct" exposure. Now this doesn't mean that this exposure is correct. It's only what the camera deems as correct. Remember, cameras are not nearly as good as our eyes. Not in the least bit. So, in order to capture the correct exposure, check your lighting. If it is a sunny day, set your exposure 1 f-stop down, or underexposed. that will set the tone for the picture.
Tip 2. Watch the reflections! This is something that kills me when I try to take pictures. For example, if you are taking a photo of a pond or any water, the reflections will be brighter, than normal. That means that the exposure your camera will say is correct, is not! Therefore if you are caught in this situation, set your f-stop down two steps. that will give you a better exposure for your photos.
Tip 3. Play with your lighting. Yes! You read it right. Play with it. If you are out in bright light, take a little time to explore and see if there is a subject that you know will look interesting and unique with bright light. With the color of a certain subject, in bright light, it will look harsh. What do I mean? It will almost hurt your eyes to look at it. If you have any photography equipment, such a reflector or mirror, or something to help decrease the harshness, go for it and use it!
Tip 4. Colors. If you love color, this tip is for you. Use colors as much as you can. Find something colorful to capture, and shoot! Just be careful with the lighting. If you can find a group of something of the same color or especially a group of thing with a bunch a different colors, like a group of wild flowers, take time to look, compose, and finally, shoot you way to happiness!
Tip 5. Shadows. Watch out for shadows! Shadow are, could you say, sun-reflections of a subject. Therefore they will be darker than the image it is casting. Focus on the shadow when you want to take the picture. the camera will likely say that the exposure is down a little. In this case, take time to adjust it up one f-stop. Again, this will confuse the camera, and maybe you, if you are not careful. If you are taking a picture of something with a shadow, focus at the object, not the shadow, set the correct exposure (see tips 2-3) and shoot!