•  

Tag: lighting

How To Shoot Photos in the Dark

Filed in Tips by on February 15, 2014 6 Comments
How To Shoot Photos in the Dark

Light! It’s the single most important element in any photograph. Without light, you’ve got no image. Without the right light, you’ve got a bad image. In photography, light is everything.

And with that in mind, I’m going to tell you how to shoot photos in the dark.

But wait, didn’t you just say that light is everything? Yes, I did. And the reason that you can still take great photos in the dark is because – with the possible exception of a very deep cave or a crevasse at the bottom of the ocean – there’s really no such thing as “dark” here on Earth.
Continue Reading »

6 Ways to Use Windows in Your Photos

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
6 Ways to Use Windows in Your Photos

Windows provide light and add beauty as an architectural feature. As a photographer your concerns about glare and reflections may cause you to steer clear of windows, but you may want to consider including them more. If you do it properly, including a window in your composition can actually add visual interest and of course light to your photos. If you are stuck in a creative rut, this may be just the ticket. Read on for six ways to use windows in your photographs.
Continue Reading »

Soft Light in Portrait Photography

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
Soft Light in Portrait Photography

There are lots of things to think about when taking a portrait. You have your camera settings to worry about, the composition of the photo, and last but certainly not least the lighting. The lighting and how you position your subject with respect to the light dramatically changes the look and quality of your pictures. In some cases you may, for artistic reasons, choose hard light that casts dramatic shadows. However, if you are taking more of a standard portrait and want a beautiful result, soft light is key. Read on for tips and tricks to using soft light both outdoors and in.
Continue Reading »

Using lighting style to create mood: High-key and low-key lighting

Filed in Tips by 5 Comments
Using lighting style to create mood: High-key and low-key lighting

Intermediate From reading my articles, I’m sure you now know all about light, range of tones, highlight and shadow, and how to make a beautifully-lit, perfectly balanced photo.

Now, I want you to temporarily forget it all! Today we’re going to mix it up a little.

Lighting does not always have to be perfectly balanced with a complete range of tones. Like color, different styles of lighting can produce different moods, and two of the most extreme examples of this can be found in high-key images and low-key images.
Continue Reading »

Dealing with Difficult Lighting Situations

Filed in Tips by 5 Comments
Dealing with Difficult Lighting Situations

In the Photographer’s Perfect Paradise, the golden hour would last all day long. The light would forever be soft, your subjects would never squint and raccoon eyes would simply be markings on the face of a common North American procyonid.

But alas, we do not live in a Perfect Paradise. After all, we have to get up at dark-o-clock to take advantage of that elusive morning golden hour, and neither it nor the one in the afternoon lasts as long as we need them to. And the rest of the time, the light varies from occasionally splendid to just OK, to absolutely terrible. Can you hear those tiny violins? We photographers have it tough. Painters, they have it made. They can just paint the right light. We have to wait for it to come along. Or do we?
Continue Reading »

What to Look for When Buying an External Flash

Filed in Tips by 4 Comments
What to Look for When Buying an External Flash

Until you use an external flash, it’s difficult to appreciate just how much of a difference they make. Since cameras come with a built-in flash, it’s easy to want to only that. I’m here to tell you, don’t settle for your built-in! Take a leap and pick up an external flash… you will thank me later. Built-in flashes create generic photographs; whereas external flashes do wonder for your images, especially people’s skin tone, but more on that in a bit. First, below are some tips on what to consider when buying an external flash.
Continue Reading »

A Primer For Photographing Glass Objects

Filed in Tips by 3 Comments
A Primer For Photographing Glass Objects

Intermediate If you’ve spent any time experimenting with studio lighting, you can probably guess (or maybe you know from first-hand experience) how challenging it is to shoot photos of glass objects. Glass has a highly reflective surface, which means that you can’t light it the same way you light other subjects. But if you really want to develop an understanding of light and how to work with it, this is a challenge I urge you to undertake, and to keep working at until you get some good results. The ability to shoot glass objects well is a skill that will also help you in your other photographic pursuits.
Continue Reading »

23 Outstanding Photos of Glass Objects

23 Outstanding Photos of Glass Objects

Glass product photography is easiest to master with a basic setup: a plain, seamless backdrop with one or two softboxes as your light source(s), or a light tent. Once you’re consistently getting good shots with these basic tools, try branching out a little – shoot your object against a more interesting backdrop and see if you like the results. Experiment with different shaped objects, too; a glass sphere, for example, may require a different approach than a wine glass.
Continue Reading »

Understanding Light

Filed in Tips by 5 Comments
Understanding Light

Do you know what the difference is between a good photographer and a great one?

It’s light. Or rather, the way the photographer uses light. A good photographer knows how to compose an image, how to angle her camera so the viewer gets a completely unique perspective of an object, how to capture an event in an interesting and unusual way – even how to capture an emotion. A great photographer does all of this in the right light.

Light is pervasive, and because of this you may not always be consciously aware of it – unless it’s either blinding you or fading from view. Most of the rest of the time, light just is, so we don’t pay much attention to it. For this reason you may spend a lot of time just snapping photos without really thinking about the quality of the light.

But it’s worthwhile paying attention because you’ll get some stunning results…
Continue Reading »

Photographing Landscapes at Twilight

Filed in Tips by 2 Comments
Photographing Landscapes at Twilight

You’ve heard me talk oh-so many times about that magic hour, the time just after sunrise and just before sunset when the light has that beautiful, magical quality that can transform a dull, flat scene into a stunning photograph.

What you haven’t heard me talk so much about is twilight. Twilight could be called something similar – that glittering hour, perhaps, or that surreal hour. Twilight photos are different because there’s that element of other-worldliness to them that only appears during that brief moment between day and night. Twilight can be a beautiful setting for any photo, but particularly for landscapes. Master creating twilight images and your photo collection will really be spectacular.
Continue Reading »

Ask David: When Do I Use the Different Reflector Colors?

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
Ask David: When Do I Use the Different Reflector Colors?

If only you could control the weather. Whip up a little wind to make your model’s hair move. Conjure up a cloud or two to diffuse that awful direct sunlight. Make the rain that’s ruining your photo shoot go away until tomorrow.

Well, there really isn’t much you can do to stop the rain or create wind in the middle of a wheat field, short of packing a circus tent, a fan and a gas generator in your camera bag. But you can change the light, even on one of those dreadfully bright afternoons. And it’s easier than you might think: just bring along an inexpensive set of reflectors (and, if you can, someone to help you position them, though in a pinch you can use a tripod or just figure out creative ways to prop them up).
Continue Reading »

Why You Should Own an External Flash

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
Why You Should Own an External Flash

Almost every modern camera comes with an on-board flash, even the higher-end DSLRs. You may wonder why, since almost every modern photo taken with an onboard flash is ugly: blown out highlights, red eye, harsh shadows and that characteristic look that screams “flash photo!” So why do manufacturers insist on including an onboard flash on cameras that are generally marketed to people who should know better? Let’s find out…
Continue Reading »

Take Interesting Photos In Boring Places

Take Interesting Photos In Boring Places

This week I received a letter from a reader who asks a very poignant question. Olivia Polerowicz wants to know:

“I was wondering how to take good pictures in not so interesting places. The thing is, I live in a not particularly interesting place and so my photos kinda show it. I have a problem with trying to find the right subject and how to make it interesting. I have the right camera and everything. I was wondering if you could help?”

Sure, I’m happy to help!
Continue Reading »

How To Take Memorable Christmas Day Photos

Filed in Tips by 13 Comments
How To Take Memorable Christmas Day Photos

I know I’m always saying to avoid chaos in your photos, and let’s face it, what could be more chaotic than Christmas morning? But fear not, you can get great Christmas day images that are unencumbered by mountains of empty toy packaging, Grandma’s oh-so-cheesy collection of porcelain elves that seems to be in every single background and the strange, hovering presence of that extra guy your sister decided to bring along this year (who the heck is that guy anyway?) So how do you separate the beauty and charm of Christmas from the chaos of the festivities? Here are a few tips.
Continue Reading »

Using Hard Light in Portrait Photography

Filed in Tips by 0 Comments
Using Hard Light in Portrait Photography

Most modern portraits are shot in soft light. Soft lighting is more forgiving, more flattering and easier for beginners to master. So does that mean there’s no place for hard light in portrait photography? Just look at any collection of Hollywood portraits from the 1930s and you’ll have your answer. Golden age movie-stars often preferred to be shot in hard light, because hard light is dramatic and seductive. Drama and seduction, as we still understand today, help sell movie tickets. But shooting in hard light can be tricky. Here’s how to create hard light portraits that will give your subjects a glamorous, dramatic quality.
Continue Reading »