Mastering Digital Photography Lighting


When you are taking photos and the lighting conditions are perfect, then digital photography lighting is not a problem. Unfortunately, most of the time, the conditions are not ideal so photographers have to learn to use light to get the desired results.

The first thing you want to be concerned with is the main source of light on your subject. Ask yourself questions such as where the light source comes from, do you require artificial light, is there enough natural light and will your tripod need stabilizing because of low light? You need to master digital photography lighting to get the clarity and detail in your image. Sometimes a flash is all you need, while other occasions require different lighting. Remember that a flash does not benefit all situations.

You do not want a flash to interfere artistically or socially, such as during someone’s wedding vows, as you will end up with a flat digital image. This occurs frequently on digital cameras with a built-in flash and they also only light the subject from the front. Because of this the digital photo depth is compressed, which really decreases and detracts from the digital image.

One way to avoid this is by watching exactly where the light falls. Once you learn and understand about digital photography lighting, the task becomes easier as you learn exactly what does and does not work when using a flash. Use a higher ISO to help alleviate a low light problem – this is a sensor that is light sensitive – but remember that there is an increase in noise when using the ISO. Fortunately, some good software programs available on the market today do reduce the noise. Adjusting the ISO to a higher level also works great in situations where a flash is not acceptable, such as someone giving a speech, where a flash would be disruptive.

If you take many sports photographs, try experimenting with and without a flash and your camera settings, to learn what works best. A built-in flash is more effective up close, where an external flash is more powerful. Many sports stadiums remain well enough lit to take pictures without a flash and many do not allow a flash, because it distracts the competitors.

One digital photography lighting technique that works well for taking still subjects in very low light is image stabilization. IS or image stabilization allows you to lower your shutter speed, which works great, but this is not suitable for fast-moving images. In any case, read your camera manual, as many digital cameras have a built-in mode for taking sports pictures. This controls the amount of light admitted, the ISO and the shutter speed, so you end up with the best photograph possible, under the lighting conditions you find yourself working in.