Add New Post Here

The Importance of Lighting In Photography

Forum Home >> Photography Forum >> General Discussion
Author Message
Since 27 Oct, 2012
Accessed 6 years ago
The Importance of Lighting In Photography
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:24 (updated 6 years ago)

Light is everything in photography. The job of a photographer is to capture light into an still image. As photographers all the time we spend fiddling with white balance, thinking about exposure, tone, contrast is basically all about trying to best capture the light we see that reflects back off our subject.

Looking back over a couple of recent photographs it is immediately apparent that the reason they work as photographs is because the lighting conditions are just right.

Product Photography Lighting

With product photography (indoor studio product photography) the aim of the game is to create your own light. In the studio you have full control to light the subject exactly how you want it in order to get the best shot. This doesn’t mean that you need huge expensive lighting to make great product shots.

Product Photography Lighting

To prove the point this watch photograph was shot using less than $100 worth of lighting kit.  In order to get full control over the lighting I switched off all of the lights in the room. It was already dark outside but i also drew all of the curtains in order to prevent any street light creeping into the shot.

The watch was simply placed on the granite counter top in my kitchen. I shot a Vivitar 285 flash on 1/8th power through a cheap shoot through umbrella positioned above and to the right of the frame. To the left of the frame I had the oven’s extractor fan light switched on which provided some rim light from the left of the frame.

I think the lesson to be learned form a shot like this is that expensive lighting isn’t required to get a good shot. By using what you have at hand (oven extractor light, kitchen worktop etc) and taking full control of the light you can produce great photographs.

If you want to learn learn more about using cheap flash guns like the Vivitar 285 to get expensive lighting results be sure to head over to the home of cheap lighting, David Hobby’s blog strobist.

Natural Lighting

At the opposite end of the scale to studio lighting is natural light. The shot below was taken in a 15th floor hotel room. The early morning light was flooding in through the floor to ceiling windows. As a result there was little for me to think about. All i did was ask the model turn slightly to the left so that their wasn’t too much shadow on the right hand side of her face.

natural lighting photography

Many portrait photographers use reflectors to bounce light onto the subjects face from either the opposite side of the main light source (in this case the left side of the frame) or under the subjects chin, in both cases to prevent excessive shadows. With this shot there was no need as the model was leaning over a white table.

Lucky Lighting

If you’ve read any photography books you’ll have heard all about the golden hours at sunrise/sundown when the sun is low in the sky and produces a nice warm light.

Outdoor Photography Lighting

With the shot above I just got plain lucky. I make a habit of taking my camera with me everywhere. I was walking to work one morning during the winter when i was struck by how beautiful the park looked with the mist hugging the frosty ground. The timing of my walk was perfect because at that moment the sun began to rise above a cloud casting the most amazing orange glow on the park.

I stopped in my tracks and scrambled to get my camera out before the sun rose above the passing cloud. As i was getting my camera out i looked around for somewhere to get a decent composition. As I moved past a couple of trees to get a nicely framed shot I noticed the jogger approaching, perfect for adding another point of interest for the shot. As I rose the camera to my eye everything came together perfectly (the amount of light peeking over the cloud, the composition and of couple the joggers position in the frame).

Like I said above sometimes you need to get lucky with light. Take this same shot in midday light and it would be headed straight for the recycle bin. 

Comments

karim's picture
I cold not agree with you
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:25 I cold not agree with you more about the importance of lighting. And I love the picture of the watch

Add Forum Comments

Login or Register to post authenticated comments

Add Anonymous Comment via social networks

updates Design Inspiration Daily Inspiration wallpaper Funny Images Art Magazine Photography Blog House Design Art Competition Design Contest & Festivals Photography Contest Free Website Photo manipulation Animation Contest and Festival Most Expensive Painting Portrait Painting Funny Drawings Salvador Dali Paintings Charcoal Drawing Rose Drawing How to Draw Animals Pencil Drawing Flower Drawings Picasso Paintings Digital Painting Mughal Paintings Watercolor Paintings 3D Drawings Bird Drawings Body Paintings Color Pencil Drawing MF Hussain Paintings Boris Vallejo Tamilnadu Paintings Animal Paintings Flower Paintings Metal Sculpture Caricature Street Art Oil Painting Fantasy Art Face Painting How to Draw a Face How to draw anime Wall Art Ideas Wall Sculptures Rajasthani Paintings Raja Ravi Varma Paintings Indian Paintings Types of Paintings Bird Paintings Tree Paintings Acrylic Painting Tanjore painting Wood Sculpture Amazing Drawing Drawing of Eyes Animal Drawings Leonardo Da Vinci Wall Painting Ideas Advertisement Corporate Identity Indian Wedding Photography Incredible India How to Start a Photography Business Couple Photography Fashion Photography Macro Photography Pregnancy Photography Different Types of Photography Famous Photographers Bird photography Best Photographers Digital Camera Review Nature Photography Kerala Wedding Photography Indian Wedding Photographer Amazing Photography Wedding Photographers Photo Editing Apps Photography Apps 3D App Graphic Design App Painting Apps Logo Design App Drawing App Free 3D Models Websites 3ds Max Tutorials 3D Animated TV Commercials Funny Cartoon Characters 3D Models Zbrush Models Game Characters 3D Girls Interior Design 3D Animation Short Films Valentines Day wallpaper Nature Wallpapers Flower wallpaper Christmas Wallpaper New Year Wallpaper Rain Wallpaper Diwali Wallpapers independence day wallpaper Raksha Bandhan Beach Wallpaper Ramadan Wallpapers 3D Wallpaper Mountain Wallpaper Republic Day Car Wallpapers Black Wallpaper Art Wallpaper friendship day greetings Ganesh Wallpaper Bridal Mehndi Designs Website Designers Free Stock Photos Rangoli Designs Christmas Greetings Free Photoshop Brushes Christmas Door decorating ideas Christmas Packaging New Year Messages Free Christmas Vectors Animation Schools Wood Carving Blouse Designs Corporate Brochure Design Print Advertisements Logo Design Ideas Mehndi Designs Tattoos New Year Greetings Diwali Greeting Cards Messages Diwali Greeting Cards Diwali Rangoli Designs for Diwali Free Brochure Templates Blender Models Top websites for designers Pookalam Logo Design Contest Onam Greetings Travel photography Advertising Resume Designs Custom Logo Design Services Motivational Quotes Top Website Design Companies Forced Perspective Photography Packaging Design Ramadan Greeting Manga business card template Beautiful Websites T Shirt Design Ideas Corporate Business Cards Animation schools in India Graphic Design Schools and Colleges Paper Sculpture Free Fonts Free wordpress themes Business card design Interior Design Schools in India Types of Animation Pongal Greetings Maternity photography Newborn Baby Photography Photo Collage Seo Company India Art Schools HDR Photography Brochure Design Ideas Free Drupal Themes Website Designers India Romantic Wedding Photography Baby Photography Black and White Photography What is Graphic Design Interior Design Schools Birthday Greetings Most Popular Websites Kolam Top Websites friendship day diwali messages Pongal Kolam Love Pictures Taj Mahal Animation Movies List Photoshop Layer Styles Photoshop Tutorials Surreal Paintings & Surreal Art Photo Retouching Typography Design Wildlife Photography Branding Creative Photography Peacock Photos