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Digital Photography: making the best use of natural lighting

Date Added: September 04, 2010 08:21:21 PM
Author: Anonymous
Category: Photography Tutorials

Digital photography can be maximized to its full potential once you have the perfect camera, the proper subject color and the perfect natural lighting. Even if you own the latest feature-rich digital camera model, your photos will not turn out great if you are not making use of the right techniques.

Experts in digital photography will tell you the digital camera is just one of the things you need to create great pictures. There are several other factors to consider if you want to turn the picture you see in your mind into the perfect digital photograph.

One of the most crucial factors to consider is how you handle natural lighting. Have you ever seen a outdoor photographs that have subjects that are unintentionally blurry and indistinguishable from less important background items? This is a common error in outdoor digital photography. Even if you try and edit this kind of problem using Photoshop or other editing software, you will often be unsuccessful and frustrated. With digital cameras being so advanced and full of features it's easy to think that the camera will always make up for poor lighting or filter light out when the scene is too bright. But when you see your results you can be very disappointed. The secret to getting that perfect outdoor or naturally lit picture is to plan to make the best use of the natural lighting you have. Below are some natural lighting tips that when properly used can make your photos look terrific.

1. Immediately after sunrise and right before sunset. It is during these times that the richness of natural lighting is at its peak. Your photos can turn out great and full of spectacular detail when taken during this time. Why might this be? This is because the sun exhibits a particularly brilliant spectrum of the orange color that is well captured by the optics of most digital cameras. Experiment with taking pictures at sunrise where the sun is behind you and the subject you’re photographing is in front of you. Take several pictures as the sun continues rising. Adjust your position to the left and right to try capturing the impact different angles of the sunlight creates on your subject. Take some pictures up closer and others from further away, but use your zoom option so that the subject appears close. This last suggestion will help you clearly see the difference that real distance, between you and your subject, makes when it comes to lighting.

When you have taken your photographs review them on your computer and look for the variations of color and lighting based on your angle and your distance from the subject. This one exercise will begin to reveal how important lighting is to properly capturing what you think you see through your camera.

Because of the position of the sun in relation to the earth, sunset photographs are another exciting opportunity to learn about lighting. The following suggestion works best at the beach or somewhere you can view the sun setting on the horizon. This time try pointing you camera at your subject but have the setting sun behind your subject. Let your digital camera adjust and focus on the subject but have the light illuminating behind the subject. Some cameras may not be able to properly filter the light of the sun but if yours can you can get some very exciting pictures. As the sun sets, it displays a more muted array of the orange spectrum which provides yet another opportunity for beautiful pictures. The coloring of your subject will also impact the brightness to your photos. In addition, brilliantly colored subjects can be easier to edit on your computer if you desire.

2. Sunlight throughout the day is a very effective form of lighting once you know how to use it and position your subject in it. Keep in mind altering the brightness of the sun or the shadows is impossible once you take the picture so take care that there are no shadows or overly bright spots in your view before clicking that shutter. The choice is always yours of where the best position is to make the most of the light that natural sunlight you have. Use the sun to your advantage. Again, be sure to try shots from different angles and see if which work best with your subject. Although usually shadows aren’t what you want they can be used to add an artistic touch. Just make sure that they will not blur your photo and they are accomplishing what you want. For minor adjustments, you can edit the photos straight from your computer but remember it’s always better to get the best picture you can so you can keep editing to a minimum. Shooting digital photos is not only about having the most advanced digital camera. It is also about looking for strategies and techniques that will bring your photos to life. Try to make the best use of your natural lighting.

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