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Thread: Struggle with lighting... would learning take photos in B/W help?

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    Struggle with lighting... would learning take photos in B/W help?

    Recently has the propounded interest regards to people photography.

    But what I really struggle is how to use the existing ambient light, or how to place the artificial lights source. I simply just unable to produce interesting picture.

    I start thinking what if I learn to take B/W pictures? In the world of B/W, it's either can be seen or cannot be - so maybe it's a good to start from there?

    What is your thought?

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    This is my only opinion....I don't know if it would make much difference. I suggest .....use something stable as your model.......put your light to one side and take a photograph. leave your camera and model in the same position but move your light source slightly around the model. Take another photo......and keep going till your light source has moved totally around the model and you have say 8 photos. and then do the same thing again but leave your model and light source in the same position. Only the camera moves around the model. Take another eight photos. Have a look on the computer and see what is happening to your photos with the changes. This may help but I am sure others will have some good ideas. Remember things come with practice!
    cheers
    Jan

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    are you serious? Shelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andylo View Post
    Recently has the propounded interest regards to people photography.

    But what I really struggle is how to use the existing ambient light, or how to place the artificial lights source. I simply just unable to produce interesting picture.

    I start thinking what if I learn to take B/W pictures? In the world of B/W, it's either can be seen or cannot be - so maybe it's a good to start from there?

    What is your thought?
    Hi Andy

    Ah, light - that summarises to me what photography is, "its all about the light". Light gives meaning, depth and shadows to your images - going to bw will not change this. You need some understanding of light.

    Ambient light (without flash) - get outside to start with, sun behind you (best in the morning or evenings) and photograph anything. When its the middle of the day you get harsh shadows on the subject.

    Now inside, you have different light sources other than that beautiful sun. Natural light (possibly filtered), lights fluoro/tungsten etc. Look around and really notice the light and shadows. While typing this I glanced around my room and could see the sun streaming in my windows and brighter in one area than the other - so I would think about placing my subject in the most flattering spot for a picture. I usually do use fill flash in a room - and use my shutterspeed to darken or lighten the ambient light as background.

    There is so much to learn and I cannot go into that kind of detail in this post - it took me a while to harness natural light (if that is possible) and now I am starting to use my lights and flash more. I myself am still learning to use flash/strobes - but feel I am getting a grip on it.

    As I don't know how much you know, so hopefully this helps.

    Look around you, stop and really look at the light in a room. Sources of light eg. windows, fluoro lights, lamps etc. I do this all the time and think about how I would capture something in the room, even when not photographing. I notice how the light falls on people (face, hair, catchlight in the eye), walls etc. and if you would introduce fill flash, or position someone to utilise the natural light.

    I have only scratched the surface and I hope this helps a little. But, start with the basic understanding of light and work your way through it and you will see an improvement in your images.

    Shelley
    (constructive criticism welcome)

    www.shelleypearsonphotography.com


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