Lighting is one of the main elements of photography. Just like how the eyes work, without light, a camera will not be able to capture images. In addition to capturing images, photography lighting can also make a picture look more characteristic. Therefore, it is important for a photographer to understand basic lighting techniques. Here are some important photography lighting basics for you to know.
1. The Kind of Light Based on The Source
A photographer must know the light requirements. There are two types of lighting, namely natural light and artificial light. In simple terms, it can be explained that natural light is naturally generated light, for example from the sun. Meanwhile, artificial light is light produced through artificial objects, like a bulb, studio lights, and glow sticks.
In practice, natural light and artificial light, both of which have functions to improve the quality of your photos. Setting this light intensity is important because if the light obtained by the object is lacking, the results of the photo will tend to break and vice versa. If too much light used, the characteristics you want to build will not appear.
2. The Distance of The Light Source Affects Light Intensity
Considering the distance of light sources with objects also determines the results of the image. The distance between an object and a light source will affect the intensity of the light that hits the object. In simple terms, it can be explained that the farther the light source, the softer and lower the intensity of light received by objects. Moreover, areas that get light are also wider. Likewise, on the contrary, the closer the light source is, the more intense the light received and the area which gets light is even smaller.
3. Effects Created by Light in Photography
In photography, you can use light to create effects on your objects. You can create shadows (parts that are not subject to light), highlights (parts that are directly affected by light), and cores (transitions between shadow and highlight) on your object. In this case, the position of the lamp on the object will affect the intensity of each part. Understanding the technique of laying out light sources is also very important for a photographer because this will affect the features of the objects produced in the image.
4. The Influence of The Direction of Light
As mentioned before, the position to put the light source can also affect the results of the photos you take. Technically, there are several ways to place light sources in photography lighting.
- Front light: the light source placed in front of the object. The result of the image’s character is flat without shadow.
- Backlight: the light source placed behind the object. This technique is used to create silhouette photos.
- Sidelight: the light source placed in the right or left side of the object. This technique is usually used to give a dramatic impression and highlight certain angles of the object.
- Top and down-light: the light placed above or below the object. The result will highlight the dark side of the object.
The four techniques above are important for beginner photographers to understand. Putting a light source can be adjusted to the theme and character of the object you want to highlight.
5. The Difference Between Soft Light and Hard Light
Soft-light comes from a light source that is larger than the size of the object. The result of the shadow tends to be soft, flat, more diffused and has a long shadow area. Meanwhile, hard-light comes from a light source that is smaller than the size of the object image. The result of the shadow tends to be clearer, stronger, and have shorter shadow areas. Photographer can use both types of lighting according to the needs and character of the object to be displayed. However, if you want results that show the dimensions, texture, and structure of objects more clearly, it will be better to use hard light.
6. Creating Catchlight
One of detail in photography that is often overlooked by beginner photographers is catchlight or the reflection of light that appears in the eye of an object. The reflection will appear in the form of a white dot on the object’s eyeball. In portrait photography, this technique can be very useful to create a photo that focuses on the model’s eyes. With the reflection on the eyes of the model, the result will appear more alive and dramatic. Photographers usually put lights from the front of the object to create this effect.
Those are some points about the importance of photography lighting that you need to know. As explained ahead, light has an important role in photography. The intensity of the light that affects the object will affect the quality of the photo, the effect, and the characteristics of the object seen. Therefore, it is important to determine the concept first before taking a photo shoot. If you want the best results, try to explore lighting techniques. Later, you will naturally find your own style and characteristics.