Photo Workshop 2: Lighting
Photo Workshop with YWP Alumni Advisor Kevin Huang
Lighting is a crucial element in photography for several reasons, and it plays a significant role in determining an image's overall quality and impact. Below are just a few key reasons why lighting is important in photography.
Lighting conditions impact the technical aspects of photography, such as exposure settings and shutter speed. This is where you have the most control as a photographer, and understanding how to adjust these settings based on the available light is essential for capturing well-exposed and sharp images.
Nowadays smartphone and point-and-shoot cameras will automatically adjust settings for you so that your shot is well-exposed. However, the automatic settings will often not achieve the desired look you had in mind for your image! This is when manual manipulation of the camera settings will help you capture the ideal lighting in your photo.
Light and shadow
The direction and intensity of light influence the shadows in a photo. Skillful use of lighting allows photographers to control the shadows and contrast, emphasizing certain features or creating a sense of depth. Controlling shadows is essential for achieving a balanced and visually pleasing composition.
The best settings for capturing intense lights and shadows would be during a sunny day or with artificial lights, such as a bright city street at night or studio lights.
Mood and atmosphere
Lighting has a significant impact on the mood and atmosphere of a photo. Different lighting conditions can evoke various emotions and set the tone for the image. For example, soft, diffused lighting might create a romantic or dreamy atmosphere, while harsh, directional lighting can create a dramatic and intense mood.
These are just a few essential aspects of lighting in photography. Lighting can also play a big role in the composition and focus, as well as an image's color temperature and white balance. Skillfully playing around with the lighting can significantly enhance the quality and visual impact of your image.
Header image: Cambridge, MA. Photo by Kevin Huang, YWP Alumni Advisor