Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

Lighting Tips For Amateurs Using Compact Digital Cameras Or D-Slr Cameras

The reason a photographer must pay attention to shadows and the direction of the light falling on their subject is because light is the single most important factor in governing how a photograph will result.
Pick the time of day you take your pictures carefully, if you can; late afternoon or early morning are best when the sun is low in the sky.
With the sun too high it will either make a subject squint or their eyes will be unattractively shadowed.
A professional would use a lighting reflector to minimise the shadows.
Although they fold up small you will still need an assistant to hold it in place so they are impractical for family snaps.
How ever the dedicated amateur can use a white piece of card or paper that can serve the same purpose.
If you don't have a lighting reflector, try to use early morning or later afternoon light, which will not only help with shadows but also emphasises yellows and reds to give a warmer effect.
When photographing in bright sunlight, position your subject so that the sun falls on them subject from the side to build a nice 3D effect in the image.
When the sun falls behind the subject you can achieve a nice backlit effect but watch out for what is known as flare, which can be manifested as sun spots or low contrast areas.
Used wisely, these can be effective but frequently when unplanned, they compromise the quality of the image.
Given unavoidable climactic factors, you may have to take pictures on cloudy days.
Some photographers prefer the softer light when it comes to landscapes, or indeed the drama of story skies or shots taken in the rain.
With portraits, cloudy skies act like nature's own softbox, although it can mean that you will need to compensate with a slower shutter speed which consequently can mean that you may need a tripod.
Subjects which benefit from a more diffused light can include close ups of flowers or people.
An automatic, built in flash is one of the worst ways to light a picture.
Shadows are harsh, outlines severe and red eye commonplace.
These things occur because the flash is too close to the lens and the closer the flash and lens are to each other, the worse the effect.
If the flash could be held even a few feet from the camera the final image would benefit by being more softly lit.
The times when you have no choice but to use built in flash, then make use of whatever light is available.
If there is any light at all, then use as much of it as you can and try setting a shutter speed of about 1/30th of a second (you can do this by altering the exposure mode to shutter priority).
With a steady hand, and if there isn't much movement within the subject matter, you might just get a decent, sharply defined, photo.
Red eye can still be a problem with the above, and despite attempts by camera manufacturers to eliminate it, it persists.
The good news is that with Photoshop or most paint program it can be manually removed from digital images afterwards.

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