Photography lighting: The complete beginner’s guide

Mastering lighting techniques will make you an expert in photography

Photography lighting: The complete beginner’s guide

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or an amateur, lighting plays a vital role in how a photograph you clicked looks. Photography comes from a Greek word that means drawing with light, and hence it is hard to get a good picture if you keep clicking without ensuring that there is proper lighting on your subject. Mastering a few of the lighting techniques mentioned below can take your photographs to the next level.

Everything you need to know about good lighting

The most important thing to remember while clicking a picture is to position the lights. Simply positioning the light in front of the subject can produce a flat image. Moving the lights can produce shadows and textures. This is where you can play with lights to find the sweet spot.

Types of lighting

Soft light vs hard light: A soft light creates fewer shadows and a softer difference between light and shadow. It isn’t directional and is spread out in many directions. Soft light is created using a diffuser. Hard light, on the other hand, comes from a direction and creates harsh shadows. It gives your photos a moody and dark vibe.

Natural and flash: Natural light is the light present in the environment like sunlight. If you’re indoors, it may be the lights coming from your lamps, candles, and tube lights. Photographers use flashlight when there’s no natural light advisable for photography.

ALSO READ: What is the best lens for portrait photography?

Colour temperature: Light has a colour temperature that can be measured in degrees Kelvin. Warmer colours have a lower temperature than cooler colours. Your camera’s white balance controls how it captures the temperature of light. You can tune your images by experimenting with the white balance.

Photography Lighting Tips

You should always begin shooting in natural light. If you feel like you need additional light, then you can add a flash to your photograph. Sometimes you need to add artificial lighting to your pictures along with a reflector and diffuser to get the perfect shot.

The more you play with light, the more amazing your photographs will come out to be. For this, you can even consider using more than one light source. They give you the ability to control every part of your photo including the highlights and the shadows. You can even create a soft or hard light effect with extra light sources.

You should keep experimenting with high-key and low-key lighting. High-key lighting has more light and fewer shadows, but hardly any depth in them. Whereas a low-key lighting setup has more natural or darker light. It gives a raw and intimate feel to photographs. Sometimes you can even experiment with low-light photography. For this, you will require a tripod because lowlight photography requires a longer shutter speed, and a tripod reduces the chances of blurs and shakes.

Photography lighting basics are quite easy to learn. Once you learn the basics, you need to experiment to take more varied shots. Try to use a variety of lights and study which light suits which situation. Playing with lighting will make you a better photographer in no time.

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