Thursday, 15 July 2010

Improve your Pictures with a Basic Photography Law

Do your people photographs tend to look - well, disagreeable?


What in case you could exploit a basic lighting principle that professional photographers use, without spending a cent on pricey lighting equipment?

It may sound nice to be true, but it is not. Actually, it seems obvious two times you realise what it is.

So what is this amazing principle that will improve your photographs?

It is to do with the size of the light source relative to the subject. Let me report...

The bigger the light source, the softer the shadows.

& conversely, the smaller the light source, the harder the shadows.

How are you able to make use of this fact to improve your photographs?

The first thing to do is be aware of it - notice the lighting. Move things around or go to a different location in case you need to.

But the main way to actually use this law is to make a rule of always photographing people (one of the most popular & common photographic

subjects) with giant light sources.

Here are a few examples of simple to make use of, giant light sources:

An overcast sky (one of the best, because not only is it immense, it is also still comparatively bright)

A window (still comparatively giant compared to someone's head, they are standing right next to it - yet also directional, which can provide a pleasant effect)

A bright light (or lights) reflected against a white ceiling, or a white wall behind the photographer. A flash gun with an adjustable head is ideal for this technique because it provides substantially more illumination than, say, a table lamp. In case you specifically need hard shadows (less flattering but sometimes fascinating), you'll be seeking out small, point sources of light - like the sun.

Bear in mind that in case you use only the full sun to light a shot, you'll need to sacrifice detail either in the sunlit areas (by exposing correctly for the shadows), or the shadows (by exposing for the sunny bits).

One more thing - keep in mind to experiment with the direction of the light source. While lighting from the front and/or top is the Conventional technique (& often gives the best or most appropriate results), fascinating effects can be achieved by lighting from the sides, back, or underneath .

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