LIGHT: REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS
Hey FashionPhotographyBlog.com readers! So, you have sucked it up and battled your way through the past two days learning about the science behind lighting as well as the Inverse Square Law and color temperature. You’re probably sitting there thinking “GREAT. HOW DOES ALL THIS MUMBO JUMBO HELP ME IN THE REAL WORLD?” I’m glad you asked.
Additive Primaries (RGB)/Subtractive Primaries (CMY)
Knowledge of these actually become very helpful in post-production. Is your image looking a little red? Throw in a tiny bit of it’s compliment (cyan) in the areas that are too red and it will balance out the colors, making the image more neutral.
Qualities of Light
Direction & Contrast
Want a very contrasty image? Don’t place the light directly in front of your subject, it will create a “flat” image (low contrast lighting). Want a more dramatic image? Try placing the light more to the side, this will create a higher ratio between the light/shadow relationship – aka the image will have more contrast.
Diffused & Specular
How do you want to light your image? What is the image for? What is your subject? If you’re going to be taking head shots for an actor, you’re going to want to use a more diffused light source to compliment their features. Using a specular light source for a head shot wouldn’t end with a very pretty result. There would be ugly harsh shadows which would distract the viewer.
Inverse Square Law
I know this one is confusing. Know this: the Inverse Square Law has to deal with fall off of light. Need a black background but you only have a white wall? The farther you get from the wall, the more your light source will fall of, creating a darker and darker background as you move your light and your model farther from the wall. Granted, depending on how big/bright your light source is, you may have to move far away from the wall in order to get your background completely black.
Want your image to have a blue color cast but you’re shooting in daylight? Set your white balance to “Tungsten.” Since tungsten light is orange in color, your camera knows to add more blue to the image to balance the colors. If you’re already shooting with a blue light source (Daylight/Daylight balanced Flash) and set your white balance to “Tungsten,” you camera is going to over compensate and the result will be a cooler, blue image.
Play around with white balances and color temperatures! You can get some cool results.
Made it through? Good! I know it was a bit rough but it’s over now. I promise next post on light will be the information that everyone wants to know – how to shape and modify it! Thanks for sticking it through and hopefully you learned something.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot over an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
Image 2: Adorama
Image 3: DPS
Image 4 & 5: Alana Tyler Slutsky