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5 Key Tips for Perfect Lighting

Are you unable to get the perfect lighting for your photos? As much of the photo’s quality depends upon how well it’s lit, chances are your pictures aren’t coming out as good as they are supposed to. However, here are five key tips to help you out:

1. Stay Still

If you are shooting in dim light, you obviously cannot use flash as it would only illuminate a small portion of the image. But you can make the most of the light available by keeping your shutter open longer, which means switching your camera to night-shot or dim light mode. In those modes, even the slightest motion will cause the picture to get blurred. So, you need to use something to keep your camera steady, such as a tripod. Now, make sure your subject is completely still and press the shutter button slowly.

Although there is a risk of your photo being blurry with the shutter open longer, it also allows your lens to capture all the available light. If done correctly, the result will most definitely be a picture that’s evocative and beautifully lit.

2. Get in the Right Position

Often you may not have control over your light source, but what you can control is where your subject and you are relative to it. The question is where exactly? First off, you won’t get any detailing with the light behind your subject. Also, if the subject is looking directly into the light, chances are they may be squinting. Not to mention, light falling directly on your subject’s face might be unflattering and harsh. This is why you should keep the light source towards the side of your subject.

You can capture photos with the best possible lighting when the light source is on the side of the subject. But make sure the light source isn’t harsh, or it will result in shadows appearing on the other side. The best way to avoid this is by using two light sources, placed on both sides, as it evens out the lighting.

3. Use Your Flash

If you cannot get enough light for your photos, using flash is a great way to add some. However, make sure you are using it correctly. As each camera has its own specifications and settings, the best thing you can do is go through the user manual for handy tips and tricks related to your camera. One thing you need to keep in mind, though, is your flash shouldn’t be used to light the scene for you, but rather to eliminate shadows by filling out light in a scene. Also, for different situations, you have to use different flash settings.
If you are getting the red-eye effect in your photos, using the red-eye reducing flash setting can help in eliminating them. And yes, you still have to focus on the positioning of your subjects and yourself, even while using the flash.

4. Create a Diffuser

Although trees and clouds are natural light diffusers, you can also come up with innovative ways for diffusing or reflecting light when needed. And you will be happy to know creating a diffuser is actually pretty easy. If you have only one harsh light source and you are shooting indoors, you can use the lamp as a diffuser by putting a light cloth or piece of paper over it. If you are outside, positioning a light-colored umbrella between the sun and your subject can prove just as effective.

5. Go Outside!

When taking photos outdoors, you can take advantage of natural light. It’s warm and rich, which makes everything and everyone look great. But even so, you need to follow some basic photography rules when taking pictures outside. For instance, if it’s a bright sunny day, avoid taking pictures during the middle of the day as it’s the time when the sun shines the brightest. When the sun begins dropping a little, get out there and use different ways to diffuse the light to capture well lit and beautiful photos.

October 30, 2015

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