Five Ways to Partner with Light in Photography


By Robert Machado (Yelo34)

Photography means writing with light so don't fight with it, instead, make it your partner.Let the light guide and inspire you. If the light is little let your image be dark and if it is bright let your image be bright.

Taking a picture is more than relying in your camera's auto-exposure function. Sometimes you need to underexpose and others overexpose.

Here there is five light situations and how to deal with them

1- Sunsets: When the sun is setting, the sky changes minute by minute and offers many variations for the patient photographer. A sun that is still high offer cooler colors. A lower sun offers warmer colors. Clouds offer texture and shape. Underexposing will bring more vivid colors to your picture. If you have a subject in the frame, meter for the background, set the camera manual with those settings and attached a flash in TTL to light the subject

2- Dull Days: An overcast day make subjects lose in contrast and shadows but the can gain in increased color intensity. In these days work with shapes,patterns and implied movement. Do not put your camera away in rainy days- water on the ground can make lovely reflections. Also, think working for black and white pictures.

3- Very Low Light: Allow your images to be dark. Use any light source available such candles,computer screens or street lights. Wait for people to move in a pool of light.

4- Directional Light: It produces strong shadows which you can use by exploiting their shape and textures. When shooting directly into the sun try to hide it behind an object to avoid lens flare. Also use the lens hood and focus on a high contrast object. If the main subject is a person use filling flash.

5- Bright Sunshine: Place subjects in open shadow. If this is not possible place them with their back to the sun and work in the shadow areas. Either overexpose to open the shadows or use fill flash

Additional  Tricks to deal with difficult lightning

Use automatic bracketing, underexpose in intervals of 0.5EV, Employ spot meter mode

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