7 Photography Lighting Strategies
By Gabriela L Dare
Refined photography has distinct lighting strategies and knowing what to look for is essential when the goal is a unique, and artistically stylized photograph. To be creative you have to know the basics. Creating a foundation from which to build on your basic expertise requires close attention, experimentation, patience, and passion for your media. Photography sets the tone for many moments in time and is a representation of merriment, beauty, nature, perseverance, growth, knowledge, resistance, change and many other aspects related to a viewer's perception.
Choosing the right lighting strategy in a photograph sets the right mood that enhances perceptions and delivers stronger messages. Here's some helpful photography lighting strategies that will help differentiate your photo from mediocre snapshots and will help you master, key fundamentals in no time at all.
- Projecting a wider light source will generate a softer light and subdued shadows. Casting a narrower light will generate a harder light and sharper shadows. The wider light source diffuses the scene de-emphasizing shadows, textures, and contrast. The narrower light can enhance features by creating sharper shadows, increasing contrasts in color, shape and form, and accentuates textures giving them a three-dimensional look.
- Diffusion disperses a light source making it wider and softer. Clouds are a perfect example of a natural diffuser and is a good lighting photography strategy. When the cloud covers the sun's natural light it softens a shadow's crispness. Three main types of diffusion are clouds, overcast skies, and fog.
- Intentionally bouncing or directing a light source pointed toward a matte surface such as a ceiling or a white wall can also act as a diffuser. The light will spread and cover a wider area.
- The distance by which the light is placed determines how soft or hard the light will be. When the light is closer to the subject matter it will be wider and will create a softer light source making a photo more artistic. When the light source is farther away it is narrower and will have a harder light source.
- Shadows create form. It gives the subject a three-dimensional perspective by creating and increasing the intensity between your highlights, mid-tones, and shadows. Adding shadow intensity through lighting photography strategies makes your subject an object in space rather than a shape on a two-dimensional plane.
- Fall off occurs when you place the light source a long distance away from the subject. Therefore, the light source will get dimmer on your subject, and you can vary the amount of light the subject is receiving thereby creating more artistic photos. The effects of light fall off can be used to vary the intensity or relationship between the subject and the background. A closer light creates more contrast between the subject and the background while a farther light will make the background brighter and less contrasting from the subject.
- Subject to background harmony emanates validity and makes the picture believable. All the lighting in the world won't help a scene that doesn't connect with the viewer. Make sure your background ties to your subject matter and the message your trying to portray while enhancing the event or point in time.
Applying photography strategies take time and patience. Photography strategies help achieve mastery by following simple techniques. Creatively venture by experimenting and using these main fundamentals that will set your photos apart from the bland. If you truly wish to create amazing images and get your hand on the most optimal ways to artistically and creatively enhance your photos you must visit the best following resource.