Lighting: Quality


Digital Photography 101


Lesson Info

Lighting: Quality

This afternoon we're going to have a lot of fun because we're really gonna be learning about light and photography really is all about the light, so I think that once you start seeing the light so to speak and finding it to be a very, um there's something that word plays we can do on this illuminating experience that you're going to really get a lot out of this part of the of the course and be able to instantly use it with your photography and see some great results. So here we go what we're going to cover is the quality of light also the direction of light and then finding good light so those three things, if you think about it, you can really you don't have to have any kind of special lighting in this instance it's all about really being able to see the light and then do something with that light and I think once you see this from now on, whenever you go outside, if you're inside, you're always going to be paying attention. Tio, where is the light falling and how does it look upon wh...

at I am trying to photograph person, place or thing? So the quality of light is really important now I show this picture before when we were talking about light metering, but the reason I'm showing it again is for one I just have like the shot a lot. And also it really to me depicts the quality of of light when you started thinking about it, you look at the shot. Go well, cool shot. You know, the sun looks really needs and yeah, but what you know, what's more about this shot is I'm going to get into more detail about how you can really start identifying this and then use this in your photograph. So what I did in this particular instance is I know that the lightest great, very early in the morning and later in the afternoon, so since I tend to be more of a night person in a morning person, I tend to get a lot more late afternoon shots. But in this instance, it was a november it was later in the day, and I know that the position of the sun near this particular pier comes in right at the end of the pier that time of year, and I just really wanted to capture it late in the day coming through and showing up behind him. So the quality of light the light was a little bit actually was fairly soft that day compared teo, you know, say high noon so the quality of light you want to start looking for and being able to identify it as creative people as photographers is you want to look for the shadows that's how you can identify is it hard light look to see are you finding like a hard line between that light and dark in the picture you can't instantly tell that's hard light now I want to thank my friend tracy for allowing me to use this picture she's a pretty girl and she let me use it not very attractive picture of her for this shot just to show you all what hard light looks like so this was actually shot outside about two in the afternoon on a bright, sunny summer day and you can tell that it's hard light and it's hard shadows on her face, which isn't usually that attractive you khun depending on your creative intent, you might want to use hard shadows, but in this instance, you know, I really wanted to show a prettier side to her, but I'm using this to show you hard light hard shadows now you can kind of use those hard shadows it's a little bit later in the day here a cz shadows fall, so when you're taking a photo, don't just look at the person or thing or place you're photographing but look to see where the shadows are falling within your image and you make may be able to use those creatively and shot now this light looks you know, kind of hard on him but it's also sort of interesting in a way it's not unattractive it's just the lights coming in from different direction and it's still kind of hard we're seeing some some hard shadows there but it's not necessarily a bad thing soft light oh everything's great with soft white well especially when you're trying to take an attractive portrait of someone so what I did with this change that lighting scenario she's still sitting in the same spot in the harsh sunlight but I took a diffusion panel actually somebody could run in one of those diffusion panels for me I'll show you what it is I did to actually soften the light between the harsh sun and her face so thank you so much well we have multiple things here we have a reflect actor and I think this is a this is a reflector tio might be ok so anyway I'm going I am now unzipping on guy would unwrap because this is how it would arrive but I think it was wrapped up I'm just going to show you since I'm showing you the pictures but I want to show you how I achieve this photograph take off the wrapping so what this is is a diffusion panel and this is a professional diffusion panel and it's a disk and as you saw you know you can kind of hold it up but it's it's this transparent like quite parachute fabric if you will and some of them come in different thicknesses well which will affect how much light falls upon your subjects so they call that say a one stop diffusion panel or to stop diffusion panel but what I did to soften the light falling on tracy and when she was sitting outside I don't know if this is going to be the perfect representation of it in here but you'll see a little difference if you look at my face now and then I hold this over my face over the light you can see it's a little bit softer now that really harsh sunlight this would really make a huge difference but that's what I did to soften the light on her face is just one way to do it there are other ways to do it too but when you look at the quality of light you're looking now again at the shadows but look at this picture you're not seeing any kind of hard shadow in fact it's kind of you have to really look to see where the shadows begin and then where do they stop you know there's still shadow in there but it's nice soft light it's even light it's pretty light she's able to keep her eyes open too so it's not quite as harsh interface you don't see those harsh under eye circles and you also see a great catch light in her eye so look at the shape of that catch light where would you say she was if he didn't already know it's kind of this sort of rectangular different kind of shape there's no one it's not like a square or circle so you can tell she's sitting outside because that's the horizon line reflected in their eyes so that's soft light and here's an example of soft light that I used when shooting a picture of a little baby I was inside talking to her mom that particular day and again, you know using family and friends as my models because they're just instant right there on day love getting the pictures too is I was standing in the kitchen and I noticed we had a lot of kind of indirect light coming in through the windows meaning that there was no like direct, harsh sunlight shining and it was just very bright and the walls were mostly white, which was great because that light came in through the windows and sort of bounced around on the white walls and just looked very soft and I looked at her daughter's face and notice well that's pretty light on her face meaning there were no harsh shadows in that instance and it was bright enough you know, to illuminate her face and I just got in it you know, different angles and capture pictures of her having her lunch but that's an example of soft light in a photograph with with the diffusers and the reflectors a few people were asking apple ashleigh especially to use the diffusion panel and reflectors in general do you need an assistant to hold it while you take the photo or how do you go about doing that do you need an assistant a hold you refuse your refuse er I refuse the holder accuser you're diffuser usually it's a good idea to have some help professional photographers ire assistance or you can enlist the help of family and friends in fact later today we're going to be doing some of that with all of us but yeah it's a good idea to do that or what you can do is on I'll show you that a little bit later is you can get a stand with an arm that will actually hold it for you so if you're shooting alone shooting by yourself you don't have anyone else to hold a diffuser for you can actually set it up on a stand with an arm to hold it and you can position it wherever you need it to be but if you're shooting on the fly like running around outside it's good it's better if you have a person that can kind of move it around you know if you go in a big movie set sometimes outside and harsh light you'll see like a huge they call it a silk and it could be enormously could be, you know, like thirty feet by fifty feet or something covering an entire area to see soften that light and what it is is could be silk fabric and that's kind of where they got it could be this nylon sort of translucent white fabric that you see here that will just be covering the entire area so that's up on stands and that covers that way he wouldn't have a dis he wouldn't have someone holding it, but usually with the diffusion disc, I have someone help me out and hold it reflector you kind of get away with playing around with reflecting light I'm going to go into that in just a minute, a suggestion from deebo that moms of helping with refuses to when my stand arm won't work. So if you're shooting like a little girl you khun oh yes, yes, yes and thank you for that. Thank you for that because that's a huge help whenever you're shooting pictures of kids especially is to get the parents involved like jumping around behind you, wiggling keys wherever it is for the kids, but also to help with the diffusers and reflectors and that that that's really very helpful it just you have to need to ask them beforehand is this kind of common courtesy to ask, but yes, great point and one more quick question from natasha what is the difference between a round and square reflector or diffuser? Or is there one difference between round and square? Well, it may affect the shape of the light reflecting in someone's eyes just kind of depends and most most of them you know that are on these little dis things and watch this there's a whole course on how to do that most of them if they're on these disks that fold up like that are going to be round or kind of, you know, square with rounded corners, but I also have big reflectors that I take out that I didn't bring one with me to show, but it's actually like a frame like a plastic frame it folds up and I could open it up and it's like six feet tall and I can put a reflector or diffusion panel on that and that's really helpful to so just kind of depends on what you're shooting you know how big you needed to be seen if you need a big space with that needs to be defused and you'll need obviously a bigger one and I've got some bigger ones here but you know, the shape kind of just depends on whichever one you purchase and if it's like a real small one like that little round one that I keep in my purse speaking in size er may go was curious about the size and what, what? How sizes effects the images they say I've seen smaller ones or the large ones you're working with now. And then she asked which one argument? Well, and as we work with reflectors and diffusion panels to, I'll show you. But you know, you're going to need to find a light source and reflected back now with thiss I carry the small on around just because it's easy to pop in my purse, you know, really is super small, but it's not going toe it's not going to illuminate a really large area it's going to illuminate a fairly small area? I wouldn't have, like six people and try to reflect light unless maybe it was super bright light shining into this, and I was way over in the corner and just like, you know, reflecting it right back on one person's face or something. So the larger the diffusion panel that's going to cover more space and also the larger the reflector that will reflect more light back into a larger area? Yes, so way, moving on tio direction of bites. So you know about the quality of light. So now if you're walking outside or even here, you know, under any other light source that you see today or in your home, stand under a light and look at the shadows. Look at the shadows on someone else's faces. They're moving around in the light because that's going to help you take better pictures of them when you're trying to position them in good light. Have you ever heard people say, oh, that's, great light? Well, that's, subjective, what does that mean, right, what? What was your intent? First of all, what's the look of the photo that you want in the end on dh, then, is that hard light? Is it soft lights, and now you know how to identify that, so we got quality down. Now we're going to move on to direction.

Class Description

Are you ready to start taking amazing digital images? Join award-winning photographer Erin Manning for a three-day introduction to the fundamentals of digital photography — frustration-free.

Whether you take pictures with your phone, a point-and-shoot digital camera, or a DSLR, Erin will give you the tools you need to capture beautiful digital images. You’ll learn about light and exposure, including how to work with and modify your on-camera flash. You’ll learn about common errors beginning photographers make and develop strategies for troubleshooting. Erin will also guide you through the basics of digital image editing and sharing your images online.

By the end of Digital Photography 101, you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.



Good basic or "refresher" course.