Light is Everything!

Archive for January 14, 2011

Light is Everything

I am always fascinated at the difference good lighting makes to an image. Literally, light is everything in photography. My little girl turned 3 and we had a toddler party with lots of fun had  by all. We were in our church hall because it’s winter and it lets the kids rip and tear in a bigger environment. However, to take pictures, you almost have to make pictures! By that I mean, the lighting sucks in church fellowship halls! No windows. Tall walls with old florescent lighting. Flat. Boring. Predictable. I did try to take some natural light shots, and they worked out OK. I had to crank my ISO to get them, which resulted in noisy images. But Nik’s Dfine 2.0 software comes to the rescue yet again.

There are two images I want to contrast in this blog entry to show that light is everything.


Cute! But Flat & Boring

In this first image, I used my on camera flash to light up the scene. It result is, we can see everyone. The light is flat and boring. It gives the over all feel of the shot an amateurish, point and shoot, grandma photo. The shadows are harsh and the lighting is uninspiring.

Cute AND Dramatic & Exciting!

Now in this shot, something exciting is happening! Not only is Phoebe 3, but she’s playing pin the tail on the donkey AND she is well lit. Beside me to my left is a huge white cupboard made of melamine. The material is flat and quasi-glossy. By pointing the head of my flash into the cupboard, I made my small speed light into a huge room light! It creates a nice even cast of light with soft shadows and lots of really appealing fall off. The over all image is more appealing and it draws the viewer into the experience of the photo. By looking for ways to do creative lighting in junk conditions, you can make photos instead of just taking them.  As a point of interest, this photo wasn’t edited in software for the lighting – it’s just the bounce flash creating the loveliness (and of course my daughter who is 3 years of lovely). 🙂

Here’s a slideshow of the pics from the event that I took. In here are examples of amateurish crappy lighting and some better examples of more interesting lighting. The world is a very fun place when you are three!

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