Photography Lighting Techniques – Make the Best of Your Flash and Natural Light

If you have ever experienced the frustration of seeing a photographic result that looks nothing like the softly lit ambience that you had tried so hard to capture, then read on. You may just find out what you were doing wrong so that you’re not doomed to repeat your mistakes. The brightness (hard or soft light) will determine the vividness of colors and starkness of shadows. Diffuse lighting will create softer color tones and details. You can add detail to a picture simply by changing the angle that a picture is taken from.

There is much light can help you convey through your picture – with softer lighting, you can evoke and convey certain emotions whereas hard lightning will create more contrast and may consequently appear harsher.

Tips for taking pictures in the sunlight


One of the first rules is that you never let the camera point towards the sun. Ideally the sun should be behind the photographer, and this is called frontlighting a picture. However keep in mind that side lighting can produce interesting effects because the angle of the light falling on the subject changes and interesting shadows will lend texture and depth to the picture. In the event that the subject is backlit, you will have to make judicious use of a flash to highlight the subject, which can be tricky. On the other hand, backlighting can produce some very artistic silhouettes as well.

Another way to create interesting effects in a sunlit picture is to try and use reflectors to bring out dramatically vivid colors and contrasts.

Tips for using existing light

Here we speak of existing or ambient light from the ceiling, a lamp, fire, candles or even moonlight. You can get beautifully natural looking pictures by making judicious use of the available light. You have to determine the capabilities of your camera in being able to take pictures in such a setting without the use of a flash. In any case the built-in flash of most cameras will create a very limited area of lit-up space beyond which all will be dark and indiscernible. Here a faster lens and a change in shutter speed will be required.

A tripod can also improve results that you get. Also a hand-held flashlight can help to create interesting lighted spots for you to photograph; so experiment with that.

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  1. September 2, 2015