Lighting plays an important role in thephototoday. It can revitalize the photos, add cool effects, spectacular shadows and silhouettes, but with the wrong use of the picture it will be unwanted glare and reflections.
This guide is written for beginners get acquainted with one of the most important aspects of photography - lighting. The manual consists of 3 parts. The first tells of the hard and the soft light, the second question is about the artificial and natural light, and the third - the intensity of light and depth of field.
Part 1: hard and soft light
This section discusses the fundamental question about the difference between taking a picture with the hard and soft light.
Hard light creates a well-defined, and dark shadows are usually derived from the same source, which typically has a small size or is very far away. At the same time, soft light creates soft shadows, or does not create them at all. This light has several sources, scattered or reflected from various surfaces, falling on the subject from different angles. In terms of natural light hard light can be observed on a cloudless day, when the sun is high above the horizon. Photography Beginners should avoid shooting with lighting scenes. But the clouds, fog, and even industrial air pollution create soft lighting because sunlight is partially reflected and scattered in its path.
It is necessary to remember that the size of the light source is inversely proportional to its stiffness. So, the smaller the light source, the harder it produced by lighting.
Soft light can also create your own, using lenses and reflectors:
- Diffusers. Clouds are examples of natural diffuser. For artificial light scattering can use any translucent material. Thus, one may use special curtains on outbreaks or even plain white cloth between the light source and the subject. The main thing - to choose the right level of transparency of the material and strength of the light pulse (if the shooting is conducted with the use of artificial light sources).
- Reflectors. Reflection of light, in fact, creates another source of it. A photographer can control its direction and the angle of incidence on the subject. In addition to professional reflectors for these purposes, you can use ordinary paper. Reflect can be both natural and artificial light.
Both types of light have their own advantages and disadvantages. Hard light can be used to create high-contrast images in order to emphasize the shape and texture. Also, it is good to improve the 3D effect, the addition of the image volume and dramatic effects. However, with hard light enough hard work and it is generally considered unsuitable for many (if not most) situations, especially shooting people.
Soft light, on the contrary, creates an even light, which better reflects the colors and shapes of objects. Naturally, the choice depends on the type of light shooting genre, the subject and the desired effect, but soft light, as a rule, and it is preferable by far the best and safest option for beginners.
Obviously, to natural light refers to direct sunlight or ordinary daylight, such as indoors. And in the role of artificial light sources can serve all kinds of fluorescent lamps in a variety of consumer and industrial devices.
Natural light is less controllable and varies greatly depending on a number of conditions, such as time of day, weather and geographical location. It does not require any additional equipment, though, of course, you can apply all the same lenses and reflectors. The choice between the uses of natural or artificial light is clearly more relevant to the subject of portrait or photograph. In the case of shooting a landscape or wildlife photographer choice, as a rule, limited natural light.
Among the factors that affect the nature of the natural light, it is worth noting the following:
- Weather. As mentioned earlier, cloudy weather is considered to photographers more preferred in many cases because the overcast sky creates a soft light. But Rain is not always perfectly uniform, and its density is different, too. It is worth considering, because of this depends on the intensity of the light. And such natural phenomena as hurricanes, storms, or even an ordinary fog is also worth trying to use for the benefit of the picture: the black sky will give him dramatic, and scattered in the fog lights give the landscape a sense of depth and perspective will improve.
Time of day. Typically, softer lighting conditions can be obtained early in the morning or late at night. Furthermore, at this time the light warmer. Sunrise and sunset are often considered the ideal time shooting landscapes and portraits. But during this time of day light conditions change very rapidly both in terms of intensity and in terms of color. On the one hand, it allows a short time to get a series of different images, but on the other - there is a risk to miss a truly perfect moment. During sunrise and sunset shadows change their intensity and form. So, at sunset shadows lengthen and become less intense as the morning all the way around.
- Geographical location. There is a pattern, according to which the farther you are from the equator, the longer you can watch the sunrise and sunset. Thus, mild conditions morning or evening illumination lasts much longer than in the areas on the other hand, are much faster in the vicinity of the equator.
- Air pollution. Like the water vapor in the fog and clouds of particles of industrial air pollution scatter the light rays, making it less intense and softer.
When working with artificial light photographer is faced with the same problems as when shooting in natural light. But in this case, he has full control over light sources, their number, location, angle, brightness and stiffness. In addition, various artificial light sources have different color temperatures. Thus, for example, halogen lamps produce a cooler light and which has a blue tint, while tungsten reddish glow. All these details need to be considered and kept under control to produce the desired result.
When it comes to control and manipulate light, there are a variety of options, depending on how you want to deal with an artificial, natural, soft or hard light. It all comes down to understanding how the final image depends on lighting conditions, its selection and management, as well as adjust the camera settings (such as white balance) and further processing photos in graphic editors.
The final section will talk about the importance of the intensity of light, and that newcomers should know about it.
The camera requires a certain amount of light to capture the image on the sensor. The amount fixed by the sensor light is determined by three parameters: ISO (sensitivity matrix), the lens aperture and shutter speed (the speed of the camera shutter).
Shooting can be carried out under different conditions. For example, a sunny day to take pictures of the landscape may seem the ideal conditions for a novice, but with such a high intensity illumination enhances contrast of light and deterioration of the level of detail. At the same time, the cloudy weather and diffuse light, as we recall, can help neutralize these disadvantages, improving the accuracy of color reproduction, smoothing the gradients, shadows and softening the texture keeping items. But the intensity of the scattered light is lower and when shooting scenery in low-light conditions is required shutter speed and / or a higher ISO setting.
As mentioned above, the ISO - is the level of sensitivity matrix of a digital camera. Most modern cameras it ranges 100-12800 units. The higher the score, the more sensitive to light matrix that allows you to take pictures in dark conditions. But the resulting image at high ISO is characterized by increased noise, unwanted grain while reducing detail. Lowering the ISO setting will provide better image quality, but require more light, the shortage of which will have to compensate the increase in exposure.
Size camera matrix plays a crucial role in this respect: the larger gauge, the less noise it generates, and consequently, received with the help of higher-quality images are. But at the same time cost matrices such cameras will be significantly higher.
We recommend an article on this topic: sensitivity - ISO in photos.
The photographic moment the shutter opens, located directly in front of the matrix, thereby passing it the necessary amount of light. The more time the shutter release, the lighter will be fixed matrix. When shooting moving objects, requires a high shutter speed to "freeze" an object in its movement. At the same time, long exposures are useful at night, when the camera needs more light to create an image. Long exposure can be compensated for sensitivity, keeping it within the allowable noise level. For further stabilization of the camera in such cases a tripod handy.
You can become more familiar with the material, read the article what is the shutter speed on the camera.
Aperture - the hole in the lens through which light enters the camera's sensor. Aperture size is governed by a special device called a diaphragm. Naturally, the larger the diameter of the hole, the more light that enters the matrix over time and vice versa. Iris settings are displayed as F / values. Thus, a small value (for example, F / 1.0 to F / 3.5) parameters indicate the maximum relative hole diameter. With this opening in the diaphragm matrix receives the greatest amount of light. A value of F / 22 shows the closed aperture and limited light flux passing through the lens. Aperture settings range in different lenses may be different.
It is controlled by the depth of field diaphragm - the distance between the proximal and the farthest points that fall in the plane of focus. The larger the diameter of the hole, the less depth of field.
Read what the diaphragm and how it works can be in this article.
In fully automatic mode, the combination of aperture, shutter speed and ISO selected by the camera, based on its perception of the most appropriate settings for the specific moment of the shooting. In many cases, it gives decent results, but experienced photographers make great pictures exclusively using the camera manual settings. Nevertheless, for beginners, this mode in many cases it will be very useful, leaving the opportunity and time to concentrate on other aspects of the survey.
Manual control of the camera
Depending on the current requirements for the recording, you can use different operating modes of the camera. The most common are shooting modes Shutter priority, Aperture priority and full manual mode (for more experienced photographers). Each ISO sensitivity can also be adjusted manually, or left in automatic mode.
In aperture priority mode, aperture value presets the photographer, for example, to control the depth of field and the camera calculates the optimum exposure length. As a rule, this is the preferred option for landscapes (with a closed diaphragm) and portraits (open).
In Shutter Priority mode, the shutter speed manually set while the other picks up the automatic camera settings. To use this mode, resorting, for example, when shooting sporting events (critical shutter speed to capture the athletes in motion) or in the case of night photography (need super-long delay for maximum light capture).
In a fully manual mode the experienced photographer who understands the impact of various shooting parameters and their relationship gets absolute control over the recording process.
Well, what are shooting modes of the camera can be found here.