Tag Archive | "lighting"

Seeing Digital Photography in Black and White

Black and white digital photography can create breathtaking photos with a classical or romantic feel to them. Some photographers shoot in black and white only, while others use it to add a certain mystery or flair to their photos. Others still may use it as a technique to overcome lighting obstacles. Regardless of the reason, achieving the most stunning black and white photographs take a little skill when taking the photo as well as expertise in editing your results afterward.

Using Your Colour or Black and White Settings

Some cameras may have colour settings only, in which case all black and white effects must be added by converting to grayscale afterward with your photo editing software. If a black and white setting is available, you can decide between shooting in black and white to begin with and editing your colour shots later.

Shooting everything in colour can give you more to work with in the editing process and may give you higher quality black and white photos in the end. Using the black and white setting can take a lot of extra work out of the editing process but some visual effects may be lost. By experimenting with both you can decide which results you prefer.

Training Your Eyes

In order to get the most stunning black and white prints you’ll need to train your eyes to see in terms of lighting, highlights and shadows. Especially if you’ll be taking your photos in colour and editing later, it’s important to be able to visualize what a scene will look like when it’s converted to black and white. The more practice you get with this the easier it will be to do without thinking, but start off by just trying to pay attention to where certain lights fall and where the shadows are being created.

Detail or luster can sometimes be lost when converting to black and white so play with your settings as much as possible and compare your end result to the predicted outcome you were hoping for. Taking notes on which settings worked best for specific scenarios can help to give you a better understanding of why some techniques may have worked in certain cases when they failed in others. Like most aspects of digital photography, the best way to advance your skills is to just keep shooting everything you can and get as much practice as possible.

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Digital Photography: Simple, But Effective Lighting Techniques

Poor lighting can make it nearly impossible to get a decent photo but by trying a few techniques you may be able to get more out of your low light photos or extra sunny action shots. Trying different settings and becoming familiar with your camera will go a long way in helping you decide which modes to use so experiment as often as possible when you’re in unusual lighting conditions.

Artificial Lighting

In low light, you may need to use an internal or external flash. It can take time and practice to develop an eye for lighting conditions, but by experimenting with one or multiple external lighting sources you’ll be able to determine the best ways to shine a little more light onto your subject. Sometimes you may want additional shadow or highlighting effects and external lighting placement will bring these effects out much more dramatically.

Auto Settings

Your camera’s auto settings can come in handy in many situations, but sometimes it can sabotage you for the more complicated shots. If you’re getting unsatisfactory results with every picture, turn off your auto settings and try experimenting with the white balance and flash settings on your own. Some cameras will also have preset modes you can try that are customized for night, sunny, or cloudy scenes.

Low Light Obstacles

When trying to get a decent shot at night, sometimes the settings that fix your lighting issues add other problems instead. Low shutter speeds can be good for low light images but can make pictures blurry if there’s any movement. Using a tripod can eliminate this problem for any still shots you might be taking. Higher ISO settings can also help, but extra noise can be added to your image. Some noise can be edited out on your photo editing software, so what can’t be fixed when shooting could be corrected later.

When you find a technique or setting that really works for you, make a note of it and try it in other situations. With more and more practice, overcoming lighting issues will become a natural reflex. It will take time to train your eyes to asses your lighting situation, but once you get the hang of it, your photos will show a huge improvement.

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