An understanding of light is essential when you truly want to grow as a photographer, irrespective of what you enjoy shooting – whether it is landscapes, portraits, macro, street photography, or any other genre, for that matter.
Lighting can affect the mood of a photograph in many different ways, and you need to gain an understanding of light to be in complete control of how you want to accomplish an image. Take portrait photography, for example. You can take great shots with directional light coming through your window or you can experiment with three-point lighting to create a completely different look, if you have the necessary lighting equipment.
If you have been looking to get better at lighting in photography, do check out the free eBooks – three of them from Photzy – that we have listed here in this post. These eBooks cover lighting in portrait photography in great detail apart from discussing product photography and lighting in general situations.
Three-point lighting consists of three light sources – key light, fill light and back light. It is the foundation of most lighting setups used in photography today. The guide tells you the importance of three-point lighting, and how to effectively utilize it. There are shooting exercises too that will help you put to practice what you learn in the guide.
In this guide, photographer Kent DuFault shares with you the step-by-step process that went into setting up lighting for an environmental portrait that he was commissioned to shoot and the post-processing involved. You will get to know the equipment used, the lighting setup utilized, and other considerations that went into producing the shot.
You might think that you need to have a lot of lighting equipment to create the best portrait shots but that isn't really true! It is possible to create great portraits with a single light source. How about the light coming in through your window, for example? Check out this guide to know more about shooting great portraits with one light.
This guide, by photographer Anne McKinnell, takes you through eight types of natural light that you may come across while photographing. Each light has its own set of qualities that impacts your photos. It's a great primer on understanding natural light and using this knowledge to choose subjects and plan shots in a better way.
5. Lighting 101
The ever-popular online lessons on lighting in photography, Lighting 101, can be downloaded as a single file for a handy reference. It will teach you everything about lighting – lighting equipment, artificial lighting, balancing it with natural light, lighting patterns and much more. If you are looking for an in-depth (free) primer on lighting, this is it.
Bonus: Flash Portrait Photography – A wonderful resource on learning the basics of using flash in portrait photography.
Get Better at Understanding Light
If you've struggled to take advantage of light in your photography to the fullest and you want a complete, in-depth training to help you with that, take a look at Photzy's best-selling guide Understanding Light, to produce great images by discovering the key concepts of light. Go here now to check it out.