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Light in photography Photo I & II 2012

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Light in photography. Photo I & II 2012. light. Direction from where the light hits the subject Crucial to any good photograph Can be manipulated through camera settings or external sources, both need to be controlled for the best quality photograph. Types of light. The sun. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Light in photographyPhoto I & II


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LIGHTDirection from where the light hits the subjectCrucial to any good photographCan be manipulated through camera settings or external sources, both need to be controlled for the best quality photograph

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Types of light

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The sun

Photography’s most basic lighting option is the sun and is also one of the most versatile. It can be warm and highly directional, casting long shadows. Behind clouds, its light can be blue, diffuse, and shadow-free. As it crosses the sky, the sun serves as a front, side back and/or hair-light. It always looks natural – because it is – and it is always free.

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Window lightA flash is not used. The main source is light from a window, possibly using a reflector as the only fill.

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Cool lightCool light are daylight balanced LED or florescent light, which deliver color and quality similar to the “old style” studio strobe or flash units.One big advantage: continuous light source. This means you can see the lighting effect before you shoot it.Can be reflected into umbrellas or through softboxes, light tenets or other diffusion material.

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softboxSoftbox is most popular for its soft, even light. Softboxes are used heavily in portrait photography and many other types of commercial photography.

It is an effective, lightweight tool for reducing a light intensity without sacrificing softness.

The Softbox eliminates hot spots and evenly distributes the light as well.

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Light tent

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Hot lightsHalogen lights are another continuous light source option for easy studio work. Though they are not cool like the ‘cool lights’, they can pack a lot of power into a single head.

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Studio photography

Most photographers try to soften lighting, whether it be for art photography or products.It is the most flattering lighting on people and objects.It is one of the easiest techniques.3 ways to soften light:


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diffuseDiffusion is when something translucent is placed between between the light source and the objectOutdoor cloud cover can diffuse direct sunlight to soften light and shadow.Direct sunlight: will create hard shadows on your model’s face/object.

In Studio: 1. Place cloth between subject and light2. Shoot the light through a soft box or white studio

umbrella3. Place the subject inside a white studio ‘tent’

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BounceBouncing light scatters rays of light in different directions and creates softer shadows.


- Pointing it upwards: bounces off ceiling before hitting subject

- Bouncing off reflector, wall or a free-standing “flat” (a portable partition)

- Pointing the light into the inside of a studio umbrella so it bounces off and towards the subject.

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Photos of objectsw/white lightw/yellow lightw/daylight (sun)w/daylight (in shade)w/bouncew/diffusion (green/blue/red)

w/class lightingIn the dark w/ different lightsw/window lightLight box

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FlashMost cameras have a built in flash that operates in several modes.

AutomaticFill flashNo flash

Flash with red-eye reductionSlow-sync flash

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Auto(matic) mode

The camera gauges the available light and fires the flash if neededMost commonly used in amateur photography

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Fill flash/force flashThis mode triggers the flash regardless of the light in the scene

Especially helpful for outdoor shots, where there is natural light

e.g. outside in sunlight, your camera might see no-need for a flash but it can create harsh shadows, fill flash adds additional light on the face that cancels out the shadows by adding additional lightWith a properly exposed background, and also a flash-illuminated subject that's got proper flash exposure, the two light sources (flash and ambient light in the scene) are balanced, and neither will appear overly dark or light. This usually gives us a very natural-looking picture. It can also brighten otherwise subdued faces, lighten shadows from harsh sunlight, or sometimes just add a little sparkle in a subject's eyes.

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FlashWhen you don’t want flashTo make the most of the quality of the existing light, it might be what makes your photograph compelling in the fist placeOr when shooting highly reflective objects, such as glass or metal, because flash can cause blown highlights

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Flash with red-eye reduction

Flash reflects against the subject’s retinas, the result is the ‘red eye’ problemRed-eye reduction mode aims to thwart this phenomenon by firing low powered flash before the ‘real’ flash goes off or by emitting a beam of light from a lamp on the the camera body for a second or two prior to capturing the imageWhy? It ‘pre’lights the image, causing the pupil of the eye to shut down a little, thereby lessening the chances of reflection when final flash goes off.

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Slow-sync flashSometimes nighttime flash/night portrait modeIncreases the exposure time beyond what the camera normally sets for flash picturesWith a normal flash, your main subject is illuminated, but background elements beyond the reach of the flash are dark. The longer exposure time provided by slow-sync flash allows more ambient light to enter the camera, resulting in a lighter backgroundCareful! It can result in a blurred image: both camera and subject need to remain absolutely still during the exposure in order to avoid that issue. Using a tripod is useful.Colors can appear in slightly warmer because of the white balance issues.

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