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The Camera in My Head - Photography Tips Series #1 Lighting
Lighting Tips in Photography
The following examples of lighting may be helpful in your quest to take a winning picture. You will see examples of peek-a-boo light that causes beautiful rays. Lighting on subjects is fleeting and is usually best when it comes at an angle so it casts a defining shadow. Additionally, lighting at night requires a steady hand and sometimes additional exposure.
See some of my examples, and read on...
Glare can be a good thing
Using glare in photography
Sometimes it is just a matter of taking a step forward or backward in order to get the sunlight to slightly peek from around an object just enough to send out some rays of sunlight.
As you can see in these examples, sometimes there is just the right amount of light and the rays are very prominent. In the example of the Lighthouse, there was just a bit too much light, and the rays look more like a glare. In person, and with a quick review on the camera, it looked fine, however the best shot was missed.
Lesson: Take several pictures trying to capture various amounts of peeking light. One of them is likely to be amazing.
Light from the side gives great definition
Sunlight from behind a subject can cause problems with exposure, however sunlight from the side is your friend. It adds interest and definition.
Additionally, when the light is from a sunset, the air can actually appear to be golden. Let that golden light fall on luminescent hair or another reflective surface, and you've got a winner.
Here some of my examples of light usage. Notice which ones are better because of the angle of the light.
Examples of back-lighting and lighting from the side
Taking pictures at night
The trick to taking pictures at night and having them turn out can be tricky with a phone or a point-n-shoot camera. There are great tools like a "unipod" which will give stability to night photos. Sometimes I set my camera on something solid to help.
If your camera allows for extended exposure, that is a great way to collect more light and give more definition. If your point of interest is not moving, you can get a truly stunning image. If you would like the artwork of lines of light, keep the shutter open while tracking the movement of the lights.
Additionally, remember that the position of the light source should not be shining directly into the camera lens. Nor should it be shining from directly behind the camera. Angles are always better.
Photographs at night
Lessons learned about lighting in photography
- Take lots of photos to capture just the right lighting.
- Don't be afraid to move, duck, try different angles, and experiment with light.
- Source of light can cause interesting shadows, golden color enhancement, and fabulous beams.
- Make sure to have a steadying source for evening photographs with lights. Play with the shutter speed. Faster shutter will capture fireworks. Slower shutter speed works well for stationary focal points. Moving lights can also be captured with a slow shutter speed.
Don't be afraid to experiment!