Lighting Tips to Help You Take Better Pictures

May 27, 2009

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In this age of digital cameras, you have probably thought that you can just point and shoot and out will appear a great shot.Hold on, don’t go so fast.  The truth is you can have the top of the line digital camera, but if you don’t know what you are doing, you will take lousy shots.

I would love to give you some good tips to help you improve your photography skills.  These tips are coming from years of experience as a San Diego wedding photographer.  These tips all involve lighting and they are going to be some of the biggest keys to your success in taking your photos.

First tip in lighting.Now if the shots you are taking are outdoors during the day, some of the best lighting possible will be the natural sunlight.  Now you are probably thinking, “that’s easy, when you are a San Diego photographer since it is always shiny there”, when in actuality really bright sunlight can cast harsh shadows.Or it could blur the details of faces when the sun is overhead.

Overall, most of the shots you are going to want to take with the sun behind you.This stops any harsh shadows in your photo caused by the sun.There will be some times when you want to take shots from different angles when you do try to get some shadows into the shots.

Now that we have addressed the shots during the day, what about those night shots? 

The key technique for night photos is actually turning off your flash.Now if it is pictch black, of course you will need it, but if there are some lighting, use it, but make sure the shutter speeds are slower to let the light in.Another thing, make sure you keep a steady hand when you take your shot or you can blur the photos.  Doing these couple of tricks can make a dramatic difference when taking night shots. 

The third and final tip with using lighting to capture great photos is the golden hour.  There is something photographers call the “golden hour” or magic hour, and that time is sunrise and sunset.

During these times of the day you will capture great shots that allow you to capture more warmer and inviting colors.  You will be able to capture that golden lighting you won’t catch any other time of day.

There you go.Probably the biggest secret in taking great photographs is taking advantage of the natural lighting.  Knowing what techniques to use for different parts of the day, or just scheduling a photo shoots to capture those times of day will help you become an excellent photographer.


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