The Use of Light in Photography

Lighting is an incredibly important factor when it comes to an image. Light doesn’t just apply to the literal dark and brightness of the picture. The way lighting presents itself also affects the mood, tone, and atmosphere. If you want to make an impact with your photo, you need to consider how you manipulate and control the light. 

Shaping

Using a diffuser on your light source can alter the light’s glare and harshness when it falls on your subject. It gives your artificial light a more natural and softer looking result. You can diffuse light in multiple different ways without having to purchase additional equipment. Using umbrellas, sheer material, or softboxes will do the job. 

Manipulating

Light can be adjusted to fall on a specialized area of interest on your subject. An effect can be gained through the use of the previously mentioned diffusers. You can also use reflectors to manipulate the light. Collapsible reflectors are used to shape light or bounce a flashlight on the area you are attempting to highlight. Spotlights can also be covered in light shapers that allow you to have more control over how broad the light falls and the shape of the beam. 

Positioning

Positioning the light is another essential way of impacting how the light affects your image. The light that shines from behind the subject and points to the camera eliminates shadows and may make it more challenging to see. If light shines from behind the camera onto the subject of the image, it demonstrates flat lighting. Side lighting can also be used to throw a spotlight on certain features of the image’s subject as well. 

The most important rule to follow when it comes to experimenting is remembering that the process is just that, an experiment. Try out different diffusers, lighting shades, and angels until the story on your heart is able to be communicated to the world.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

The Use of Light in Photography

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