|Photography Lighting Tips|
Proper lighting is all about balancing your surroundings with your intent. All it takes is a little know-how, ingenuity, and patience to take great pictures with lighting that showcases your subject and enhances the mood.
When indoors, it’s key to provide as much natural light as possible. That said, be wary of light streaming through windows as it may fill your photographs with harsh contrasts. Don’t have your subject stand directly in front of a window as it may cause a silhouette.
In low light conditions, disable your flash and take advantage of ambient light for best results as a flash can mute color and cast stark shadows. Use a night scenery mode if your camera has one. Be sure to hold your camera steady since there will be a longer exposure time.
If using artificial indoor lighting, try adjusting your white balance for more natural color. Most cameras have Tungsten (for incandescent bulbs) and Fluorescent settings to correct color since Auto mode doesn’t always get it right.
Outdoors, light is sometimes too much of a good thing. Avoid midday sunlight, as it can cast harsh, unflattering shadows. The best time of day for even, complementary lighting is dusk and dawn.
For low-light conditions, the same rule applies as with indoor shooting: avoid flash and use a tripod to steady the camera to compensate for the longer exposure time.
If your camera allows for ISO adjustment, set it low—in the 50-100 range—for finer details in low-light conditions. If you don’t have a tripod, set your ISO higher to make your camera more sensitive to light, allowing for shorter shutter speeds. The trade-off is the risk of visual “noise” and grain to your photos, but at least you may get a shot you might have otherwise missed.
Daytime shooting A common question comes up when shooting pictures of people in sunlight. Where do you position the subject relative to the sun for best results?
The best condition outdoors for shooting pictures is an overcast day. Bright sunlight can wash out color. But when the sun is beating down, position your subject with the sun to their side. If they face the sun, they’ll squint, and if it’s at their back, you will have lighting issues, such as silhouetting.
Here are some other daytime shooting pointers:
Nighttime shooting When the sun sets, your opportunities for taking striking photographs are just beginning. Here are three things to remember when photographing at night: