Saturday, June 11, 2011


Lighting is one of the trickiest things to master in photography. Posing is up on that list too, but once you've mastered lighting, everything falls into place. When I first got my camera, I didn't pay attention to lighting. If any of my pictures turned out, it was pure luck. I thought I was doing good, but then I started taking pictures around one o'clock. Yeah, that's usually a photographer's worst nightmare. The sun is harsh and shadows are everywhere on a person's face. So basically, unless you use natural reflectors (which I have not mastered yet), the best way to get a successful picture is to shoot the person backlit. This is definitely hard. It takes time and usually shooting in "P" mode won't get you there, but it just depends. 

When I was out taking those self portraits the other day, it was VERY bright. It was about 2:00 p.m. and although I was taking pictures under trees most of the time, I moved into the direct sunlight for the second and third to last pictures on that post. The sky was slightly diffused by a light layer of clouds, but for the most part, it was very bright. I went down there just to experiment. This may be something most photographers do subconsciously, but I definitely can't do anything dealing with light subconsciously. Haha. So I recently discovered that if I figure out what direction the model's shadow is facing, I'm pretty much set for at least an okay picture, even if I have to do a little editing later. What you want is for the shadow to be in between the model and your camera. That way the sun is behind the person's head and there won't be shadows on the person's face. Does that make any sense? I'll show you some examples of pictures other photographers have taken to help you out. Some of them might not have been taken in super bright sun, but it still can be a good technique, no matter what time of day it is. And yes, I realize there are plenty of other ways to deal with sun. This may not be the best idea, but it's just a tip that helped me.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, thinking about light really changes your photography doesn't it? Very powerful knowledge.