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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

31 Days of Photo Fun: Day 25... Idea: Play With Lighting


Here we are at Day 25 of our Month of Photo Fun! Another idea comes your way today, a simple one in theory, but one that might prove a little tougher once out with the camera. Consider playing with lighting.

If you are outside, shooting your subject in natural sunlight, then your main source of light is simply the sun. Add to that some open shade or a late evening or early morning and your light has some direction to it, which creates more attractive lighting on your subject. From there you can place your subject several ways in relation to your light.

First, you can use front lighting. With front lighting, you simply put the sun behind you and in front of your subject. She is lit on her front. A fantastic traditional method of lighting, it gets gorgeous even light on your subject's face and eyes.


For a more dramatic look, you can use side lighting. With side lighting, you turn your subject so that the light source hits her on one side. Depending on how low the sun is or how much you turn your subject, you can get some real dramatic shadows and some moody contrast, which could add to the style you are trying to capture, or simply just offer something new and fun.


And finally, there's backlighting, which is having the sun at your subject's back. Different than that rule we all know too well, to keep the sun behind you, backlighting can help you if the sun is too strong for your subject's eyes, or to create even more drama to your images. The sun can create "rim lighting" on your subject's hair and bring it to life.


Play around with your light source, putting it in front of you, to the side, and behind you. But remember, if that sun is behind your subject, make sure to adjust your exposure to her face, or you will have a very dark subject, as your camera's meter will expose for the sun behind her. This could be fantastic if you are looking for moody silhouettes, but just beware of that.

What kind of lighting do you prefer? What poses the greatest challenge for you?

Let us know what you're learning!


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