Photography 101: Lighting

Lighting affects your photo big time. For beginners, you may practice different position and how it affects your photo. You should observe how the intensity and distance of light affects the mood of your photos. It takes perseverance and dedication to become the best photographer you can be.


Light Source


To produce soft lights, you need to use broader lights. The explanation of this rule is the light is scattered from different directions thus making it soft. You’ll notice that your picture has less shadow unlike with pictures that have narrow light source. ┬áSmall light source or narrow light source produce heavy images. This works well with other themes or depending on the mood, emotion that a photographer wants to show in his picture. The farther the light source the dimmer the photo will be. So make sure that you know the proper distance of the light otherwise, you will produce poor quality images. Practice diffusion and bouncing techniques. These two are commonly practiced by professionals to create the balance depending on the outcome their photo wants to show.




Front light helps you produce flat images. The perfect example is the front flash of your camera. The light is directly pointed to your subject and the background thus making it flat and has little shadows.
Side lights gives you sharp and define the shape of your subject. That’s why in photo studios, you’ll see left and right lighting accessory, to produce highly defined subject photos.
Back lights are great for moody images. Back lights are usually used to high light the shadow of your subject while giving clear visual of the background. The perfect example of back lighting is standing in the direction of the sun. You’ll notice that you can barely see yourself but rather you see a shadowy subject in a crisp, clear background.


Kelvin Scale


Did you know that light has color and temperature? That’s the reason why Kelvin scale was invented. It is used to measure the temperature of light sources thus affecting the color of images. Do you wonder why you get bluish photos during day light? That is because the light temperature is high during day light and it shows in your photos. Light temperature changes depending on the location and light source. You can shift your light temperature from 2000K to 9000K depending which suits you best.


kelvin scale chart

Practice Makes Perfect!


The best advice we could give you is never give up. Every professional photographers were once lousy with their photography. What separates a great photographer to a mediocre one is the amount of practice they had. As you practice, you’ll learn which lighting is perfect, how shadows affect the mood of your photo, and so on. So never give up on your dreams, keep shooting till you get the perfect shot!