Understanding the Importance of Lighting in Photography
Lighting and photography are two things that go hand in hand. Simply put, one cannot exist without the other. Still, so many aspiring photographers often overlook the importance of photography in general and aren’t sure if they properly need good lighting to execute the best possible photography.
However, this is not something that we will have to deal with because we want everyone to understand the importance of lighting in photography and therefore, in this post, we are going to start looking at all the aspects of it so you can have a better understanding. After all, the more you know, the better your experience will be going forward.
I do understand that in the beginning, it might be an overwhelming thought for you to process just how important lighting can be. After all, it is such an overwhelming aspect but let’s make things easier for you, shall we?
Importance of Lightning in Photography
How Lighting Enhances Photography
There are several ways through which lighting can enhance photography, to be honest. Understanding the importance of lighting is not something that you can skip on because a light source has to be used regardless of the type of photo you are taking or the vide you are about to shoot.
For instance, if you are shooting outdoors, you have access to a lot of natural light. But in some cases, the sun might be hidden away behind the clouds, or it is during the evening. In those situations, you will have to use other light sources to light up the scene.
Similarly, in indoor situations, you will have to look for various light sources to get the picture. This includes, but is not limited to natural light through the window, external lights such as continuous lighting, strobes, flash, and more.
The point is, you will never meet a photographer without proper understanding of how light works. A light can make all the difference and what’s more interesting is that the way you use the lighting and the way you place the lighting. All of these things might seem overwhelming at best but the more time you spend learning, the better it gets.
Below are some of the factors that enhance your photographs.
- Light Positioning: The way you position your light while taking a picture has a huge impact on how things work. The light falling onto your subject can be manipulated in a number of ways. Just take a look at this cool video which shows how, just with light, the composition and shape of your face can change https://youtu.be/6sgpeoWpO9w.
On a larger scale, the effects and positioning of the light can dramatically alter the pictures you take.
Reducing Glares: Another way lighting can help you in photography is that by using diffusers, you can actually reduce the glare a lot, giving you a light that is a lot softer and the best part is that you can diffuse light in several ways. All the way from expensive methods to cheaper alternatives. The option is there if you want to use it.
Reducing Shadows: When you are taking a picture, there is a whole situation where you will have to deal with the shadows. You simply cannot avoid shadows in any case. However, the good news is that if you have mastered the whole art of playing with light in your photography and want to get some really cool shots, you can use light in several ways to get rid of the shadows or at least remove the contrast. You can use fill lighting and other similar methods to achieve it, and honestly, it always works wonderfully.
These are just some ways that you can use lights to enhance your photography and get results that are going to blow everyone’s mind. Again, playing with light is not easy, so you are more than likely going to require a lot of consistency in order to get the perfect results going forward.
Creating Stunning Compositions with Lighting
Now, this is something that is a lot trickier than some of the other things that we have discussed but bear with us here. When you are talking about compositions and using light, you have to understand just which aspect of your shot are you going to light and which one are you going to ignore. I do understand that this is not something everyone wants to go through but in order to master photography, it’s important.
You see, if you are taking a portrait, you’d ideally want to ensure that the subject’s face is properly lit from all angles, but what if I tell you that with the help of lighting, you can dramatize the picture even more. Now, you have seen this in several films but there are scenes that are only partially lit. For instance, a character walking into their room, movies like James Bond, and even John Wick has some really cool scenes such as that.
A lot of photographers irk at the thought of lack of light and I used to be one of them but when I realised that by simply taking away some light, I can create some stunning compositions and framing, I realised the power of lighting or lack thereof.
Therefore, if you are a photographer—professional or amateur, never be afraid to play with lighting because the experience and understanding you will get out of this will be priceless. Be it product photography or indoor photography in general, you can always experiment get some really nice shots out of it.
Mastering the Art of Lighting in Photography
Moving further, we would also like to tell oyu that mastering the art of lighting in photography is something that everyone needs to understand. At the same time, it is also worth noting that you will not automatically master it without properly giving it time.
Lighting is crucial to all photographers and all photography types. Even in low-light situations, you need some sort of lighting to get the picture. With that said, I have mentioned a few things before that have helped me get the right pictures in the past. All of these are excellent and the more you keep these in mind, the better.
- Using Proper Light Sources: In order to be sure that all the pictures that you are taking come out in the best possible way, you have to use proper light sources. Whether you are using narrow lighting or broad lighting sources, the more you experiment with it, the better you start understanding how lighting can help you. Again, you don’t have to turn into an expert on your first day but practice is going to take you a long way.
- Experimenting with Light Placement: Another thing that I will tell you is that if you are looking to get some really good understanding of lighting and how things work. Start experimenting with the lighting placement and that will give you a better understanding. For instance, you can place the lights close to the subject, away from it, around them, behind them. The area is your playground and you can manipulate it however you want to, and the best thing is that it is always easy going forward.
- Don’t Mind the Shadows: I have seen so many photographers run away from the thought of including shadows in their photos. While it is true that there are times when shadows end up ruining the picture but if you master them in such a way that you can get a great picture with ease. You have something that you can use to your freedom. Shadows can create some really dramatic looking pictures and that too, with ease. So, always be certain that you are experimenting with them for the best look.
The whole point here was to ensure that every photographer understands the proper importance of lighting in photography. It is one thing that is easily missed even by those who have been taking pictures for the longest time and with this post, we aimed to make sure that you do not find yourself wondering what has gone wrong with the pictures you are taking.
Rest assured, if you are following what we have told you in this post, you will have a great understanding of photography and how to master lighting. Remember, it takes years to get where the masters are so if you are just starting now, there’s nothing wrong with getting some understanding.
Hi! I’m Furqan Shahid, founder of SnapDirector. With a decade of experience capturing countless moments, I’m here to guide you on your photography journey and save you from gear pitfalls!