Friday, January 2, 2009

A Lesson on Light

Okay--now I would never claim to be the best photographer out there, there are many many that are way better than me. But I am pretty good and have gotten some great shots at times. Today I just wanted to share something that I learned once that has helped my photography skills greatly, it is all about lighting.
Just like in housing it is all about location.... well anyways.

The number one thing that changes pictures from being your standard snapshot to something a little more is the flash! The flash takes away the true dimensions and also colors of an object. It flattens everything out. Now at times using the flash is a necessity as otherwise your picture would be black.
The best light is on a cloudy but bright day. You don't want the harsh midday sunlight. So even in the morning or evening is great. My favorite is to be indoors and set my kids by the window when the light is shining in, but not shining too brightly. You don't want the light were you can see the lines of where the sun is on the floor. (You want to be alongside the window too, not shooting into it) Then turn off your flash. Even many basic digital cameras this can be accomplished.
If after you take the picture the subject is blurry then there wasn't enough light or you need a faster ISO. For any of you that remember film cameras, you could buy film with speeds of 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600. The higher speeds were better for less light, action, etc. So you can always try turning up the speed too.
Anyway, here are some pictures to illustrate. I took both of these yesterday when the sun was setting. They were taken seconds apart.

This was taken with the flash on

This was taken with out a flash

I love how rich the colors are in the nonflash picture... and this is what I was talking about. The flash kills the colors, kills the texture. Click on the pictures to enlarge them to really see the difference! Now, if you are shooting wiggly kids sometimes the no flash thing is difficult. But give it a try. The best thing about digital is you can delete the whole bunch if they don't turn out.


  1. So. . . what kind of camera did you get? Your photos are getting better and better. :) Great job. So how is life? love ya

  2. I got a Cannon Rebel G EOS XTi
    Very spoiled :)

    Life is good, we only have one more room to unpack! Yeah!!