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Finding the Light

January 6, 2011 IADT Tampa, Photography 0 Comments

How lighting affects your photographs

Have you ever snapped a picture that didn't turn out the way you anticipated? You know there's something wrong … but you can figure out what the problem is. It's not the settings on your digital camera and it's certainly not you, the photographer. Could it be the lighting? One of the biggest mistakes people make when taking photos is failing to use proper lighting techniques. This causes photographs to turn out blurry, dark or too light.

Too much light

When taking pictures in a well-lit area, ask yourself if there is too much light. Take a few test shots to make sure the lighting will work. If the test shots are extremely bright and look unnatural, try moving to a different location or use props to create shade. Example: If you are outside on a sunny day and take a picture in the direct sunlight and the photograph turns out poorly, try moving by a tree. This will create shade to allow for a clear, more natural-looking picture.

Not enough light

Taking a photograph where the outcome is dark and semi-blurry means not enough light was provided for the camera to take a quality photograph. If you're inside, try turning on a lamp or an overhead light. This will allow more light into the lens to create a more precise picture. If you're outdoors at night, one option is to capture the image by being as close to artificial light as possible, such as a street light or lighting from a house. Another option is to use natural light from the moon or stars to enhance the photograph. This option may take some creativity from the photographer but the end result should provide an excellent photo. Warning: taking photographs of people in dark places with a flash may result in red-eye.

The perfect amount of light

Having the correct amount of light can greatly enhance a photograph. Since lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography, you should always be aware of your surroundings and be willing to create or tone down lighting. The perfect amount of light is reflected in a near perfect photograph.

Whether you're using a digital camera or a camera that requires film, lighting is crucial. Important to remember – A flash on a camera will not always give the room or area ample lighting. It is up to the photographer to set lighting for the photograph session. Use your judgment; if you’re using a digital camera, take a photograph or two and view it to ensure you have captured the image and that the lighting is sufficient.

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