Tricks to Use Light the Right Way While Clicking Pictures

by Tristan Taylor June. 19, 2015 1474 views

Do you know what quality differentiates a good photographer from that of a great?

It’s the light.

You can tell whether a picture was clicked by a good photographer or by a great one just by checking out on the way he makes use of the light.

A good photographer knows how to compose an image, go for the right angle so that the viewer gets a completely different view, the way to capture an interesting moment in an unusual way and the best way to capture an emotion. A great photographer will do all these things in the right light.

Light is omnipresent; however you may not always be aware of it if it does not blind you or fade you from view. In most cases, it’s just there. Most of you rarely pay attention to it, much less consider about the quality of light [photographyknowhow.com].

Lights are certainly worth paying attention to, since they can make or mar the picture.

Types of Light

Light chiefly falls into two different categories:

1> natural
2> artificial

Both these categories include several subsets with varying properties.

The Natural Light

Natural lights are usually produced by Sun. However, it can also come from flames like candles or forest fire. Moonlight is also a natural source of light. Though all these lights come from natural sources, they enjoy different characteristics.

Candlelight produces an orange shade whereas the light from the mid-day Sun produces looks bluer. Even the properties of sunlight tend to differ depending on the time of the day. Morning Sun produces softer shadows, while mid-day Sun produces shadows that are comparatively darker.

The Artificial Light

Artificial light, as you can understand, is made by human beings. They can be anything, ranging from the fluorescents used in old offices to high-end studio equipment. Just like natural light, different artificial lights have different characteristics. A bare bulb produces a shade vastly different from the light produced by soft boxes. It is also coloured differently. Most standard lights are yellow in colour. Photographic lights are balanced to stimulate sunlight.

There is a science behind these principles. You need to understand the basics of light and its properties to produce better photographs.

Let’s check out a few tricks that will allow you to use light the right way.

Use Windows

You can achieve a great effect by photographing your subject by a large window [picturecorrect.com] on a cloudy day. You can also click a picture when there are no noticeable sun rays streaming in to create hard shadows.

If you want a shot that looks striking, you can use the window light falling directly. For a dramatic portrait, go for the ones that are not surrounded by several other windows. This will ensure that the key light is coming from a single source. As you set up portraits using hard light, check out how the light looks on the face of your subject. You can adjust this light by making your subject turn towards the window or away from it. You will get a great shot if you turn your subject slightly towards window light.

While using window lights, do not mix it with any other source. Keep the light sources separate when using natural light. If you are using window light as the chief source, turn off all other sources of light in the room. You will be surprised by the quality of image achieved this way.

‘Fill’ Them If You are Not Pleased with the Shadows

If the lights are harsh and you are looking forward to another look, fret not. You can easily fill shadows yourself. Fill sources are usually used for softening or eliminating shadows to create a flattering portrait of your subject. There are varying ways to add a fill source. You can use another light, a window, or a reflector. It can also simply be a white piece of paper. Just use them to brighten up the shadow.

Experiment with Reflections

It’s vital to be creative when lights come under concern. Most of you think of lights as a mode to brighten up subjects; to capture them in a way you see them. The right lighting can change the mood as well as perceptions.

It’s fun to play with the reflective surfaces. As light is reflective, you can use it for creating various layers. Try to take a portrait by using a piece of glass. This way, you have the reflection of the subject in the glass as well as the landscape behind the glass. This will give the feeling of double exposure. Use contrasts for a great reflective shot.

So, are you ready to toy with lights in photography? Use these tips and you won’t believe how the pictures will shape up!

Shared by Gulf Photo Plus [gulfphotoplus.com]

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