Digital Photography Light

Light is vital for Digital Photography!

Digital photography light is a vital part of successful digital photography and good pictures, but it can be quite difficult to come to terms with at first. Digital photography light ranges from natural sunlight and artificial lighting sources, to additional light supplied by flashguns and specialist studio flash systems. Digital photography light also relates to exposure, shutter speed and light sensitivity, the three most important elements that you need to consider when you do any types of photographs.

Think about this. If you can see something, you can photograph it. If you can't see something, you can light it up and still photograph it. Of course it isn't that simple. For example at dusk and early in the morning, either when the lighting is fading fast, or hasn't quite lit up the sky, we can see quite well, but photographs are often dark and under-exposed. And unless you know what you are doing, if you simply use some kind of flash to enlighten the scene, it could be a hit and miss affair.

But now think about this. The space Hubble telescope was pointed at what looked like simply a dark piece of space with nothing showing, not a star in sight, and set with a time exposure of about two weeks. What they photographed was nothing short of amazing, including tens of thousands of galaxies which nobody had ever dreamed of.

You need to learn to work with digital photography light of all kinds, and there's nothing better than experimentation. Best of all it won't cost you anything except time.

One of the biggest problems with camera lighting is that unlike the human eye, cameras cannot automatically compensate for variations in the colour of light. This is what often causes photographs to look unnatural, with some kind of colour cast. Tungsten lighting, for example will tend to make images look yellow, while fluorescent strips will make things look cold, and possibly even a little blue or green.

But your camera can help you overcome these problems, because it has what we call a white balance that we can control. Usually this will include an automatic setting, as well as:

- daylight,
- cloudy or shade,
- tungsten, and
- fluorescent.

Some cameras also have a "mercury" setting.

All these different settings alter the way the sensor of the camera sees and then records the lighting in various conditions. If you choose tungsten, for instance, you will probably find that daylight images will go slightly blue to compensate for the warm cast of household lighting. Once again, the best is to experiment to see the changes for yourself, so that you can learn as much as possible about digital photography light.

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