As we mentioned in a previous article, lighting is one of the most vital and complex aspects of photography. Lighting conditions can make the result of your photo exciting when they work harmoniously with the scene or subject in front of you. Here are some additional tips to make good use of the available lighting in a photoshoot.
Choose the best settings for the photography environment
If you are familiar with adjusting shutter speed and aperture, then one of the best exposure situations for natural light photography is Manual mode (M) with Auto ISO adjustment. In this way, the machine operates at the optimal ISO for the available light. A good general exposure option for daylight is: shutter speed 1/200 seconds, f/8 aperture, and Auto ISO. In the evening, when light levels are lower, open the aperture at f/2.8 or as high as possible to keep ISO levels low for clearer shots with less noise. In these cases, a lens with a fast maximum aperture.
Adjust the white balance according to temperature conditions
Usually the neutral color setting is called white balance, and the expression color balance refers to adjusting the colors so that the overall image looks similar to the image during the photography conditions. White balance determines how accurate the colors of your photo are. The way our eyes see colors is very different from the way our cameras decode them.
In addition to the quality of natural light, we should also think about color. It's something that can change throughout the day. In the morning, it is quite warm. At noon, it is colder, while in the evening it becomes warm again.
The colors can also become cooler if you are in the shade or if it is cloudy. So, adjust the white balance according to the conditions, using one of the predefined modes. If in doubt, shoot in RAW format, because that's how you can choose any white balance later when editing your images in RAW file and photo editing software.
Use long exposure shots when it gets dark
Place your camera on a stable surface or a tripod. It can be a bit awkward to take it with you wherever you go, but using a tripod has a bunch of advantages. It allows you to choose the optimal position for your camera, adjust the style when the shot is locked, improves the sharpness of the image, and increases the chances of getting a clearer shot.
This will allow you to capture scenes in the twilight or even in the moonlight, as you can shoot at very low shutter speeds, lasting several seconds or more.
Be aware of your surroundings
Each theme fits a different quality of natural light. For example, the discreet light of a window can be ideal for melancholic portraits. On the contrary, direct and intense sunlight is ideal for highlighting vivid colors and textures. Long shadows work great in architectural themes and street scenes, while sunset backlighting is perfect for capturing a silhouette against the backdrop of bright skies.
If there is some artificial light at your disposal, you can make the most of it. Such light is: lights from street lamps, lights from lighting fixtures or fire.
As you understand, you have at your disposal a wide variety of light. So whenever you're out with your camera, take your time to figure out if the light is hard or soft, strong or weak, hot or cold, and whether it's falling vertically or from the side.
Familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of lighting and it is certain that your photos will be amazing, regardless of the conditions.
Read also the article: "Perfect your photography with the available lighting - Part 1“