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Types of light in photography

04.12.2018

Types of light in photography

Nature has given people the opportunity to see the world, to admire the surrounding beauty. And with the invention of the camera, it becames possible to save amazing moments from life, not only in memory but also in a photograph. In the creation of photographs, the most important role is played by lighting, namely, the play of light and shadow. After all, the very word “photography” in translation means “I paint with light.” Therefore, it is extremely important for a photographer to learn how to control them, determine the directions, create contrast and tonality of a picture. Not surprisingly that the photo is considered as the art of chiaroscuro.

When photographing in natural light, be sure to consider the time of day so that there is enough light to work. If the photo is taken indoors or in a special studio, use extra artificial light. With it, you can achieve maximum illumination of the object, space, and background around it.

In the world of photo art, there are many options for artificial light. Among them are the main ones:

  • main or key;
  • modelling;
  • background;
  • front;
  • booster.

How to create the perfect picture

Main light helps to achieve image contrast, detail, and hard transitions. It is a stream of rays directed at a three-dimensional figure or space.

The contrast of the image is directly dependent on the intensity of the fill light, thanks to which you can light up all the objects and pay attention to details. Since the fill light is soft, it makes the shadows less visible.

Modelling, in other words, accent light is a narrow stream emitting specific details. It is used to create reflections that will help to better convey the volume of an object, as well as to highlight the shadows and make them softer, or remove them altogether.

A source of a front light is placed opposite the camera in the background, from which the contour of the object itself is separated. The resulting light contour will noticeably expand if you gradually increase the distance from the light source.

The name “background light” speaks for itself. With it, illuminates the background on which the object is placed. Background light can be distributed both evenly and unevenly. The intensity is influenced by the interior and design of the photographer. A large space with windows is often brighter and brighter, and small dark rooms will help create a dark or mysterious atmosphere – choose a room based on the purpose and idea of a photo session. Of course, if it’s a wedding photo session, you need to create bright colorful pictures, because the marriage is the happiest day in the life of the bride and groom.

From my own experience I can say: the most important thing in photography is light. I have been doing wedding photo shoots for a long time. And starting in 2012, I’ll take a light assistant with me to all events. This solution allows me to never depend on the weather and other external factors, as the assistant helps to set a clean drawing source. In order to make additional backlight for a more beautiful pattern, I bought a LED panel on the remote control, and a bit later a Canon flash. At the next wedding photo shoot I had already two assistants, one was engaged in drawing light, and the second – in backlight, for volume. As a result, all 20 kg of photographic equipment was used as much as possible and allowed to fill the room with the most beautiful light.

Summing up, I want to say that to embody the idea of a photo session, to create the right atmosphere in the frame, you can and should combine several types of light among themselves, thus emphasizing the features and uniqueness of your photos.

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