The Different Aspects Of Lighting For Fine Photography
Photography is completely dependent on light. The proper utilization of light by the camera, the proper light setup, the various effects created by lights of different colors and the chiaroscuro of light and shadows are the basic cornerstones of lighting for photography. A photographer’s experience with the camera is reflected by the photographer’s ability to play with the light.
For the sake of discussion, lighting for photography can be discussed under two categories, namely, natural light and artificial light. The subcategories of photography for light include specific photography projects like wedding photography, portrait photography, jewelry photography, sculpture photography etc. Each of these different subtypes of photography has different lighting requirements of their own. For instance, small light tents have been found inevitable in jewelry photography and a specific hair light is needed in portrait photography)
The various types of basic lighting for photography principles are illumination (from the primary light source), back lighting (to create silhouettes; soft or sharp), side lighting (for defining the edges and also for filling purposes), fill lighting (lighting that is exclusively used to fill overshadowed regions with light) and diffused lighting. A photographer always uses a permutation-combination of these concepts to create a photograph.
The excellence of photography using natural light (sunlight or any other light source not set up by the photographer) is entirely dependent on the expertise of the photographer with the camera. However, the photographer may also make adjustments around the subject like blocking the light using an opaque board, or diffusing the sunlight by using a matte backdrop placed in the path of light. The photographer must be able to recognize the different angles from where the subject can be best shot without letting excess of light enter the camera. The photographer can also use light tents for the diffusing effect and also set up backgrounds to create more captivating effects using the natural light. The photographer must be able to use the different camera settings appropriately, in order to effectively utilize the natural light used in photographs.
Artificial lighting is another very important aspect of photography, especially when you are shooting in a studio. From the inbuilt flashlight of the camera to the fluorescent lights used in the studio, all fall under the category of artificial lighting. The red eye syndrome is a common problem experienced by photographers with artificial lighting, but this problem can be corrected through the camera settings and also by the photo editing software at a later stage as long as a decent compact flash is used it shouldn't be difficult to do. Light tents (cubical or cylindrical), soft boxes and lighting kits sold by different companies are great help to the photographers for setting up the ideal artificial light. The backdrops, lighting umbrellas, reflectors and gadgets to measure light on the subject surface are important instruments of studio lighting.