Proper lighting is one of the most crucial elements of a good picture,
yet is one of the most commonly overlooked. Follow these simple steps to
make sure your pics impress.
Step 1 –
Determine the "dominant light source." An easy way to do this is to look
at the shadows in the area – they will point away from the dominant
light source. If there are multiple light sources, the dominant one will
create the darkest shadows.
Step 2 –
Decide what type of shot you're after. Usually you'll be wanting a
fully-lit shot of your subject with as little shadow as possible.
Step 3 –
If you're going for a normal, well-lit photo, shoot away from the light
source. This will eliminate harsh shadows and make sure your subject is
lit up in your pic.
Other Tips –
- Don't rely on the flash! Most digital cameras have
an automatic flash that's there to "fill" in bad lighting situations.
Problem is, it's usually a pretty harsh light, and can wind up
reflecting off your subject and making them look washed out. If there's
enough light in the area and you're following these steps, turn the
- If you're outside during the day, the dominant light source is easy
to find – not much is going to outshine that big light in the sky. Shoot
away from the sun whenever possible.
- Don't stifle your creativity. Odds are you've got over a hundred
shots to waste on that camera of yours – use them. This is simply how to
properly light a photo – sometimes improper shots can accidentally wow
everyone with your artistic ability. (from eHow.com via John Sanpietro)