Lighting considerations

moon in an odd lightPhotography is all about light; how much light gets into the lens, how much light is allowed through by the shutter, the quantity of light you are working with, the brightness of light, backlighting all these are factors that affect a photo and they all pertain to light. As a budding photographer, it is important to appreciate the effect of light on a photograph. This will help you improve a lot when it comes to finding the right light.

Adjusting light

The reason why there are studio lights for photography is as simple as this; good lighting improves the quality of your picture. Since we are humans, we can manipulate a light source to provide lighting for a good photograph. These manipulations include projection of a wider or narrower light, moving the light source further or closer and even setting the direction from which light comes from. Here are some other fundamental considerations for taking pictures in good light.

Diffusion of light

Diffusion of light makes light spread out from the light source. This causes the light source to disperse and the lighting becomes wider and softer. A good example of diffusion is the way clouds come up in front of the sun. The shadows made are softer. Mist and fog also produce such results.

Light projection

Projecting light from a light source also influences the result of the photograph. For instance, casting a narrow light produces hard light and very sharp and crisp shadows. Manipulating the light source to project a wide light produces softer light and hence soft shadows

Distance from the light source

The distance that light covers from the camera to the subject is a consideration for the hardness and softness of light. The light produced when the source of light is far away is very hard and narrow. Shortening this distance produces a wider and softer light.


The exposure is another consideration when taking a photo. Exposure is determined by the amount of light being let through the hole in the aperture. The camera, however, is not able to adjust a wide range of light quickly. It is therefore advised to wait for a while as it adjusts itself. One can also use the +/- buttons on the camera to reduce and increase the exposure compensation.

Soft light and hard light

All in all, it finally comes to the question of brightness. “Which type of light produces the best photos under what conditions?” This is the question that photographers should ask themselves. A hard light will produce sharp shadows hence making it useful in landscape photos because of a deep depth of field. A softer light causes light to disperse making it perfect for use in taking photographs with a shallow depth of field.