Despite what you may think, it is possible to pick up your camera, take a shot of any object or person you want and be able to produce an image that will leave your friends and family in awe at how amazing the photograph is. All that is required is a little knowledge on some of the photography lighting techniques that can ultimately make any image look unmistakably professional. This article will go through the three vital photography techniques that you should utilise for taking a great photo.
Ever taken a photograph of a landscape that just came across as dull, lifeless and overall uninspiring? I am sure as photographers we have all been there, but if you are clever enough to intricately examine the colour of the lighting in your photo you can easily change this. What you should know is that it is always a mistake to try to take good photographs in the middle of the day. Instead you should be aiming to get up just before the break of dawn, in order to captures some incredible landscapes.
If you have never had the wonderful experience of taking shots early in the morning, then you should prepare yourself for soft pink delicacies and overall a very tranquil setting. Otherwise, you could decide to take your shots in the evening at sunset, where you can make the most of a sky covered in gold. Either way the great thing about shooting at these times is the object you are shooting will develop meaningful shadows, which will give it an extraordinary 3D effect.
If you are attempting to get a professional photograph of a friend or family member, you should take note of a few things regarding light intensity. If the sun is directly beating down on them, it can cause noticeably deep, dark shadows and intense highlights. These are in no way beneficial to the photo, and can often turn an attractive person, into someone who is in no way flattering. It is also worthwhile considering that the sensor in your camera detects are far thinner dynamic range than your eyes, and therefore your camera will “see” something different than you might.
Unless you have one of the top of the range cameras that can set you back hundreds if not thousands of dollars, your camera may be unable to detect the fine detail in shadows. In fact more often than not all it sees is black, which can ruin the effect that good shadows give a photograph. Similarly, whilst we might see a great deal of detail in the highlights of an image, your camera may only show a pure white. At the same time, when we see detail in the highlights; the camera shows pure, featureless white.
If you want to help your camera to record the available detail in a photograph, it is worthwhile to move your selected person into shade, as this will reduce the dynamic range between highlights and shadows.
When trying to take a good photograph, the direction of where the light is coming from is very important. In the case that you have light coming in from the side of the shot, you can expect exceptionally long shadows that have the potential to magnify. This can be good or bad depending on the person or object in question. For example, if you are a body builder it can be great to make you look as if you have more muscle, however, if you have facial spots it can make them appear massive.
On the other side of the spectrum, when light is directly hitting the face, the effect can (at the right intensity) visually take off ten years a person’s age, as it fills in wrinkles and creates a smooth texture on the person’s face. Despite what you may think, knowing how the colour, intensity and directionality of light will influence the quality and properties of your photograph, is almost as important as knowing how to even turn on your camera. Not only will it determine some of the key features of your photograph, but it will also make the difference between having a professional photo or a poor quality photo.