We all love beautiful pictures right?
We like to see them, shoot them and pose for them.
Today’s evolution in technology has enabled anyone that has a mobile device to take photos without any kind of effort. More than being just the keeper of our memories and life stories, photography has turned into a well-established method of communication.
Long gone are the days when our photos were framed or hanged on walls for only our family and friends to see. Nowadays they are shared all over the internet and our social media accounts, for hundreds of people to like and admire.
But make no mistake, taking great-looking images means more than just a simple point and shoot. As anyone who has ever tried to take a high-quality photo knows, capturing a good shot is so much harder than it looks. From choosing the right lightning to finding the best subject, there’s so much going on behind the professional looking photos we all admire.
Although more accessible to anyone than ever, photography is still an art. And as with most forms of art, if you want to learn photography
, not just play shoot, having at least some basic knowledge about optics, composition, gear or lightning is essential.
Becoming a professional photographer can take years of practice, but even as a beginner, there are still some easy things that when considered, can dramatically improve your results.
To help you bring your photo shooting skills to the next level fast, in today’s post we’ll talk a bit about light, and how you can use it to take beautiful pictures.
Why Light Matters
Although many times ignored by beginner photographers, a solid understanding of light can be the thin line which separates a professional looking photo from the overload of basic looking images we are all visually saturated with.
In order to shoot pictures that will capture everyone’s eyes, you need to know how different types of light
can be used and when. If you are not able to master the use of lightning, you will never be able to become a professional photographer.
And since not all light is created equal
, natural light is so much better for photos than the artificial one. But outside light differs a lot throughout the day.
A harsh full sunlight can be unflattering for even the best looking models or the most beautiful landscapes. The improper use of hard light, no matter if natural or artificial, can produce really ugly shadows that will end up ruining your whole picture.
On the other side, softer light like the one during sunrise or sunset, can embellish your image and prevent details from getting lost in the dark areas of your photo. Especially when shooting portraits, the immediate time after sunrise and just before sunset, called the golden hour, can do wonders for the skin and lead to stunning photos.
Also, since the sun is low in the sky, your subjects will cast long shadows that result in dramatic effects.
Direction Of Light
Equally important to choosing the right time of the day and the proper light intensity, it’s knowing which direction the light should fall.
When shooting indoors, light coming from the ceiling should be avoided. An outside source coming from a window or door, but also a reflector, are much better alternatives.
Depending on what effect you want to create you can either shoot directly into the light for a silhouette photo
, from the lateral or frontal.
Front light either natural, or coming from lamps, reflectors or torches will create a well-balanced look and illuminate your subject’s face evenly.
If you don’t have access to a reflector to bounce the light and you want to illuminate your subject’s features, you can use either foil or a box to direct light from all sides. This will both remove shadows and add a professional finishing to your photos.
With these simple tips in mind, you should always remember that practice makes perfect… with time!
Don’t hurry, enjoy every moment and let yourself get lost in each photo you take even if it’s not yet as perfect as you would want it to be.