6 questions that must be paid attention to in photography lighting

We’ve all had bad lighting ruining what should be a perfect photo, usually I spend an hour pre-lighting, and despite all the preparation I’ve tried, the results are often unsatisfactory .

Everyone has their own familiar lighting scene, but arriving at a brand new location can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips that might help you get through a lighting crisis.

1.Avoid excessive or insufficient ambient light

When shooting on location, a proper mix of ambient and artificial light can create a sense of drama and atmosphere that natural light cannot. But keeping the balance of ambient and artificial light in a photo is crucial, too much or not enough ambient light can ruin a photo.

Use the right shutter speed to keep the two in balance, and fine-tune the exposure based on the feeling you want to convey.

Remember that ambient light is a powerful helper, and don’t ignore the 1/200 second shutter sync speed.

2.Find the most suitable lighting method for the subject

Whether it is round, square, thin or fat, each face has its own beautiful angle, so each face has its own suitable lighting method. The general rule is that a long face with sharp edges and corners is suitable for a harder light, while a round face is suitable for a soft light.

Therefore, it is very important to understand the subject before shooting. Different lighting methods are designed according to different subjects. Reasonable lighting can often surprise people.

3.Light stand is essential

The effect of top light is dramatic and powerful, but without a light stand, it would be impossible to arrange a top light. I knew that I needed a light stand from the beginning of photography, but at that time, my wallet was empty, and I couldn’t bear to risk an expensive photographic light on a cheap light stand.

So I tried all kinds of things, I hung the camera light on the background frame, or I hung it directly from the ceiling. The attempt was successful, but it was difficult to operate in actual shooting.

When I finally got a light stand I felt like the whole world had changed… I could place the camera light wherever I wanted, and lighting was a breeze.

If you’ve looked at lighting for commercial photography, you’ll find that a soft top light is essential and acts as a natural light. And when other lighting methods are not satisfactory, try top lighting, it may be a brand new way. Of course, first you need a light stand.

4.Avoid light sources that are too far away

When I browse the web, I often find that some netizens place the light source at a distance of 3 to 5 meters from the subject, so that the light emitted is flat and weak. Usually the closer the light source is, the softer the light falls on the model’s face.

Don’t be afraid to place the light source too close to the model, sometimes my camera light is only 30cm from the model’s cheek.

Of course, if you intend to use high-hardness light, then a sufficient distance is essential, 5 to 6 meters is not an exaggeration. But if you use soft light, you must be close enough, 30-60 cm is appropriate.

5.Avoid too bright

Lighting is a game of light and shadow, but it is shadows, not light, that create a sense of drama, yet many photographers don’t realize this yet.

Once you’ve set up the set, try to slowly reduce the light output, and you’ll find that as the shadows increase, so does the drama.

6.Don’t forget the reflector

As the most easily forgotten tool in system lighting, the role of reflectors is actually not small. When placed next to strong shadows, it can effectively reduce contrast and greatly increase the latitude in post.

Many photographers like to fill in the light below the model’s chest to create a beautiful silhouette, or in the opposite direction of the main light source to fill in the shadows. All in all, fill light is an essential step in lighting.

Sometimes none of these methods work, but don’t give up, the model’s next turn can change everything.

Just keep shooting, no one gets the perfect shot the first time you shoot.

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