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Photography Lighting Tips

Must-know Tips on Lighting Required for Top Portrait Photography

Light is the most important aspect of photography. Photography is an art and light is its touchstone. The title on "Photography Tips - Lighting", will capture your interest all throughout.
PhotograFeed Staff
Last Updated: Mar 14, 2018
The end of 6 working days, SUNDAY! I was lounging on the sofa and closed my eyes for a few minutes to recall the beautiful moments of my college life. My life had two elements, friends and fun. But I have left behind those days long back. Friends are no longer with me, everyone including me, is enmeshed in the daily chores of life. And then... SNAP SNAP! Down fell a bunch of albums. The clunk reminded me to pick them up. But for a while, I was glued to the ground and turned round the snaps that I had captured during my college days. I had a craze for photography and always made a point to carry my camera wherever I went. I have preserved each of those fun-filled moments in those albums. Now I take them out every Sunday and look at them for hours to re-live those moments and rejoice in solitude. Today those images and snaps add smiles to my lips.
This was just a flashback that I wanted to share with you before going into the depths of photography. Photography in simple words is just - "CLICK the image", but technically, photography has lots more to offer. Perfect light, angle and time are hallmarks of good photography. Lighting determines the mood of the photograph or the video shot. Right use of light reflects your innate creativity. A video or a picture is alive only through good photography skills.
Photography Tips on Lighting
Appropriate use of light is one of the most important factors that determines the quality of the picture. It can be awesome, spectacular, dramatic or terrific. The camera has an inbuilt light meter that measures how much light is being reflected to the camera. Automatic adjustment of aperture and shutter speed enables the camera to measure the amount of light reflected and thus the clarity of the picture.
Source of Light
The quality of the picture resolved depends upon the source of light. The source can be natural, like the sun or artificial, like constant light sources, strobes and different types of light sources used in studios. The effect of rays of light is very spectacular. A setting sun, rays cascading through the windows, landscapes and portraits create impressive pictures with intelligent use of lights. Use of brighter light from behind the object is the typical way to create silhouettes. You can simply experiment with different types of light in order to get different images with different effect.
Angle of Light
Angle of light is a very important aspect while creating special effects in the photographs. Half cast shadow, full bright, dimmed low, back lighting, front lighting, side exposures, diffused light, etc are a few examples where adjusting the angle of light is very important.
Camera Exposure
The time of camera exposure depends on the shutter speed and the aperture speed. To get a good resolution there should be a narrow aperture and slow shutter speed. Increase the exposure time to get a clear image. For example, a camera with a high f/stop (depth of field) aperture value and low shutter speed 1/X (secs) gives a good resolution. f number determines the amount of light entering the aperture and the time of exposure of the shutter is denoted by seconds.
Film Speed
Film speed is one of the important parameters in determining the quality of a picture. The sensitivity of light towards the photographic film determines the film speed. ISO system has been introduced to measure the film speed. Higher the film speed, higher the sensitivity. But a high film speed (high ISO value) results in poor quality of the image.
Portrait Photography Tips
Behavior of light, intensity, brightness and contrast are the important parameters for portrait photography lighting. Controlling the intensity and brightness can be done in studios with the help of strobes. There are devices such as gobos, snoots, scrims, grid spots and barn doors, which can direct the light according to the need of the photographer and create different effects. The light's color temperature is also one of the factors governing portrait photography. Contrast of the image is dependent on the size of light source and the distance from the object. These are the basic know-how of portrait photography. However it is always best to LEARN photography tricks from a professional photographer.
Digital Photography Tips
Digital photography also has the same basic principles of lighting. Know to handle the camera with subtlety and use your creative skills to get a good resolution. The tips and tricks are simple. Know the buttons, adjust the techniques and click.
Photography is a passion and its outcome is perfection. Focus light in different ways and explore your creative instincts. That's why the famous photographer Aaron Siskind says "Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything." SMILE PLEASE!
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