Picture Taking Technique

Using Proper Lighting In Photography

Lighting is an extremely important and integral aspect of photography. You may have mastered the use of a digital camera and you might know all the tricks to make the most of its features and specs but unless you can use lighting properly, your images or photographs would be subpar. If you are in a studio and you have all the lights at your disposal then you can conduct trials and errors to determine the right lighting but even then you would have to know how to use proper lighting. When it comes to landscape photography or live action photography, you don’t have any luxury of trial and error. You need the right lighting setup before you begin or you need to know how natural light should be used.

  • Proper lighting can make an ordinary photograph a masterpiece and the lack of proper lighting can make a masterpiece look like a shabby image.

Before we delve into the details of lighting in landscape photography, let us look at the basics. Natural light or its availability can be classified into four categories. These categories can be named: midday; evening and morning; sunrise and sunset or golden hour; and twilight, dawn and dusk.

During midday, you would get the highest or the most saturated neutral white. The sun would be almost vertical relative to the object or subject. During evening and morning, the contrast would be high and slightly warm but the angle would be mid or low. During golden hour or the time of sunset and sunrise you would get medium contrast with warm to fiery colors and the angle of the light would be almost horizontal. During twilight, dawn and dusk you would get low contrasts with cool pastel colors and the angle would be below horizon.

Now, determine what you are shooting or capturing, from which direction you are going to shoot and what kind of contrast and colors you want. Then accordingly you should decide the time of the day. Landscape photography is dependent on natural light. The canvas is so large that creating artificial light is very difficult and also expensive. You need to rely on natural light and should be practiced with using proper lighting.

As you practice landscape photography in different times of the day under varying light conditions, use different apertures, shutter speeds and ISO settings so you can see for yourself the subtle and substantial differences.