Light plays a major role in the photos you take. It affects the exposure, and it gives your photos a specific mood. Shooting mid-day produces a bright and sunny vibe while early morning and late evening shots are often moody and romantic.
You need to think about the best time of day to shoot your photos considering the vibe you are going for, but you also need to use techniques that will allow your subjects to look their best. This article will give you tips on what you should be doing to get the very most out of your photos no matter what time of day you’re shooting.
Shooting at Night
Shooting at night can get terrific results but you need to know what you’re doing. If it’s very dark, you will have to use a Flash unless you can stalk out the light. You can also use the ambient light and flash together, but you will must have good control of your flash to strike the right balance.
It’s helpful to have a camera that’s suited for darker environments. If you are lucky enough to own one of these, be sure to pump the ISO.
Shooting Through Smoke
Have you ever tried to shoot someone performing on stage and then, suddenly, the fog machines activate? This can really mess up your shot. Your camera won’t know where to focus and you usually just end up getting silhouettes.
Shooting through smoke is a tricky situation but if you know your manual settings well you will find your focus and get great results.
This is the type of scenario where you’re shooting in a room with plenty of outdoor light. You may have to set your exposure for outdoor and use your flash to illuminate your subject. In general, you will have to find a balance between your exposures by opening shadows and darkening highlights.
Note: Trying to fix exposure issues in post generally won’t work and might ruin your picture.
Flickering Lights or Moving Clouds
It is difficult to shoot in situations where there are variances in light. If your subject is not moving, you may be able to wait until your light comes in to catch your shot.
You can also use exposure compensation. This will require you to maintain your settings and turn your exposure up a notch when it gets cloudy and down a notch when the sun comes out.
Reflective surfaces can blow out your camera making certain areas of your photo look overexposed. Generally, the closer you are to the light, the more reflection you are likely to get. To keep overexposure from happening, you may need to move to different spots while shooting and experiment with various angles.
A mixed light situation occurs when your subject is illuminated by different light sources such as a mix of ambient, natural and fluorescent light. Auto white balance or a flash may help but an off-camera flash will be your best solution.
Direct sunlight often makes features look overexposed. A lens hood will cut down on light while a longer lens will crop the picture to keep some of the light out. Shooting at different angles can also cut down on direct light.
Noon is often considered the golden hour because it provides overhead sunlight that’s ideal for shooting. However, this is often a fleeting moment. To make the most of it, you will want to take advantage of reflectors. You can bring in reflectors yourself, but cars and buildings can also help you use the sun to your advantage.
Now you know how to shoot in various types of light. How will you be using this information to take your images to the next level?
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