Lighting plays a vital role in photography. A good combination of lighting can turn any ordinary picture into a magnificent piece whereas bad lighting can destroy a beautiful picture or photograph. This is a very important aspect which certainly cannot be neglected.
Photography is an art as well as science. This is an art because it totally depends on the imagination of the photographer. Different photographers may present the same scene with different captions. Sometimes a photograph of the same scene is so different that you might wonder if they are of the same scene. This is the sheer beauty of art, that can mold anything into a beautiful and wonderful piece.
It’s a science because it uses various tools and technologies. With the changing time, photography is becoming more of the science. With the right methodology, beautiful photographs can be created.
In this article, we are going to discuss various kinds of photography lights and how to use them for better effects.
What’s lighting in general :
Before diving deep into the sea of knowledge, let’s see what’s lighting?
In the sense of photography, lighting is the illumination of any scene that is going to be in a photograph. Different illuminations can result in different photographs of the same scene.
Types of lights in photography:
Most common light is natural light that is also called general light or ambient light. When there is sufficient sunlight and there is no tweaking of lights using digital settings, it is called general light which is in the terminology of photography is called natural light. There is no special skill needed to take photographs in the natural light. As we all know, photography is all about colors, shades, and lights. A right combination of these three can make a photograph very beautiful.
The second type of light is artificial light, it can be created by various means. For example, if a photographer wants to portray sunset brighter and colorful than its actual form so that he can highlight something from his imagination, he has to use artificial light.
CFL bulbs, LED bulbs and Strobe lights can be used as an artificial light
Combination of natural light and artificial light:
This is the favorite type of lights for any newbie. This is a mixture of natural light and artificial light.
In most of the cases, a photographer needs both types of light. In some places, natural light looks amazing while in some places artificial lights become unavoidable.
apart from these common lights, there are several types of photography lights, few important ones are as follows:
Hard light creates a shadow with a sharp edge. It is created by a strong focussed source of light.
As the name suggests, soft light creates soft edges. In this type of photograph, the light source remains closer to the targeted object. When soft light is used, the main lited object remains in the focus.
In this type of lighting, a particular object remains illuminated rather than all objects of the scene. Shadows of objects do not have any important role in these type of lights.
These are contrary to specular lights. Every beginner photographer must be well versed with these lights. In diffuse lights object of the scene remain equally lit.
When the source of the light is facing directly the desired object, this type of light is called flat light. Though this is not a widely used light, it could be very beneficial in the cases when the shadow of some objects needs to be hidden for example some elderly people do not like to highlight wrinkles on the skin to be displayed in the photograph, in that case, flat light comes in the rescue.
Broad light justifies its name. When a photograph needs broad light, this type of light is used. In this type of light whole object does not have focus, rather a well-lit part of the object only needs to be focused. This photograph is useful when you want to highlight a particular part of any object.
In this type of light, light falls at a particular angle. Short light is almost the opposite of broad light. Short light can highlight minute details of the focused light, so it becomes important to choose light according to the requirements.
Split light is the light which falls at the 90 degrees of the object to be photographed. When you need your photograph to be half lit and half in shadow then split light can be used.
When an object needs to be separated from the background, rim light should be used. Rim light highlights edges of the object rather than the illuminated whole object.
Butterfly light can be used in specific cases when a photographer wants to create butterfly type shadow below the nose of a person, this type of light should be used.
Loop light also works at a specific angle, when light falls at 45 degrees in an object. When a photographer wants to highlight one part of the object and little bit highlight of another part, Loop light should be used in that case.
There are several other types of lights, each photographer has his/her own unique style but we have covered some basic type of essential lights. With the help of the right lights, you can gradually start to take the best photographs.