Lighting: The Core of All Photography

Like paints are to a painting, light is to photography. Without light, you’ll just have a black image of nothing. With too much light, you’ll end up with a washed-out white image. Of all the important aspects of photography, light takes the prime spot. Even the major settings of a camera are adjusting to manoeuvring light. The aperture, ISO sensitivity, and shutter speed — the three basic tenets of photography — are all geared towards controlling light.

The right lighting can make the difference between a great photograph and a terrible one. Light helps you create the narrative for your photograph. Being such a central concept of photography, you need to make sure the lighting works perfectly for you.

Let’s delve deeper into the mysteries of light and what it means for photography.

The Fundamentals of Light

Before we start off, there are a few basic aspects to understand lighting. These are:

Exposure: This relates to the amount of light that’s captured in an image and how it can be controlled.

Quality: This talks about how “hard” or “soft” the light is and the difference between “cool” and “warm” light.

Direction: This is the position or source of the light that’s entering the scene.

Highlights and shadows: These are the brightest and darkest spots in a photograph.

Positioning the Light picture2

The source or position from where the light originates plays an important role in how the final result turns out. If the light source is positioned directly behind the camera, it will give off very flat lighting, causing shadows to fall in the background and create no depth whatsoever. On the other hand, lighting from the side produces more interesting results. It casts partial shadows on the subject, which give the whole scene a more elevated and dramatic look.

Shaping the Light

Direct light on the subject can lead to harsh shadows and glare, diminishing the whole effect. Using a diffuser with the light source can give artificial lighting a more natural and softer look. Light can be diffused in various ways with the help of umbrellas, soft boxes, and more.

Manipulating the Light

The art of photography lies in the master manipulation of light. You can control the light to fall on the subject in a particular area or manner. This result can be achieved with the help of reflectors and diffusers.

The Golden Hour

While artificial lighting can easily be manipulated, Mother Nature cannot. Photographers swear by the “golden hour” or the magic hour in which the natural lighting is just perfect. This timeframe usually occurs after sunrise or before sunset.

Known as one of the leading professional photographers in Montreal, Quebec, Didier Bouchereau can help you make the most of life’s magical moments. Offering engagement and wedding photography services, as well as maternity and newborn shoots, he’s dedicated to exceeding your expectations!

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