Its all about the light

Experts agree to take really effective images you need to understand and be able to control light. From subtle sunset or sunrise light, to balancing indoor light, capturing captivating landscapes, macro photography, portraits and so on, the one constant element required for great shots is mastery of the light.

Sounds complex and it can be technical but there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • For ambient low light shots always use a tripod and the 2 second timer or remote shutter release with your camera to avoid shaking the camera when exposing the shot.
  • For shots outside, aim for soft even light like a lightly shaded position. Use the flash but with the flash dialed back to -1.7 ev. This provides a natural fill rather than over exposing with the flash. Check your camera user guide to find out how to do this.
  • For landscapes, target the time of day when the light is soft and even, sunrise and sunset. You’ll get some interesting colour as well.
  • If you use the flash a lot, get one or more external flashes. This requires a commitment because they aren’t cheap but will offer different creative opportunities. Check the stobist link below for a good insight into the world of off camera lighting.
  • Study the use and management of light. It makes all the difference to know how to control it and take advantage of it.

Sandgate at sunset, soft even light, good colour and the angle of the light has lit up the water.

More reading:

  1. Primer on light.
  2. Strobist
  3. Strobist Lighting 101
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