I have been thinking really hard lately about how much I know, how much I have learned, and how much wish I knew years ago regarding photography and because I often get asked about ” photography lessons” or for advice about photography and “how to use my camera”, I thought I would start a feature for the beginner, or the momtographer who has just purchase a great new camera and would like to start using it to it’s full potential.
TUESDAY TIP #1. The best tip I have for you all..even if you are shooting with a cell phone.
Keep your Back to the light source!
This tip will take your images from dark and grainy to bright and wall worthy.
More often then not your light source is a window, a lamp or ceiling light or the best light source we have..the sun (more tips about outside photography to come in later blogs).
For this tip I am going to reference your light source as a window.
This image below was taken with my DSLR set to AV mode metered to over expose by a full stop. I edit my images always an prefer to slightly over expose my images. I am telling you this so that you don’t go over exposing your images based on this posts information. You’re better off to leave your cameras meter as it is if you are not sure how it works.
Read more about metering here
I want you to note how dark this image turned out. The meter inside of your camera reads the light coming into your lens and depending on what metering mode you are using and/or where your focal points are landing in frame adjusts your camera’s settings accordingly when in any of the automatic modes.
Because of the window in the background the camera’s meter decided that it needed to darken the image to compensate for the windows brightness. I wish I had a dollar for every time, while being out with friends or at a birthday party, I see folks pointing and shooting their cameras with a big window in the back ground. This will either cause your flash to pop up and fill or your images to be too dark like the one below.
Same Camera settings but I now have my back directly to the light source and as you can see, not only is my little man nicely exposed, but his eyes are also bright due the the catch lights from the window. To my eye this image is pleasing and although background and wardrobe is too be desired 🙂 this is a great example of how to use your light source to your advantage HOWEVER, Sometimes too much light can flatten your image or you want to create a more dramatic look in which case I recommend shooting at a 45 degree angle to the light source like in Example #3
This image has a nice, but not too harsh, shadow on his face, catch lights that brighten up his eyes and our subject is well exposed. 45 degree angle to the light source is how most photographers set up their studio lights, and is also how I set up my newborn backdrops. So although my tip is keep your back to the light source it should actually be keep your back 45 degrees to the light source.
Lighting is (insert large percentage here) of what makes a great photograph, and so I am encouraging everyone to take a few seconds and pay attention to where the light source is coming from when they are photographing their memories. Getting the best images at an important event can be easy as moving 45 degrees.
This is what the back of my camera looked like for reference:
New Tip Next week! Cheers.
The Eye’s the Limit-Cambridge Ontario Photographer specializes in Newborn Portrait photography, Child Portrait Photography, Maternity Portrait photography, Family Portrait photography, Graduation Portrait photography, and Corporate Event photography.
Photography Services available in Cambridge Ontario, Kitchener Ontario, Waterloo Ontario, Guelph Ontario,
Woodstock Ontario, Ayr Ontario, Toronto Ontario, London Ontario and surrounding areas