Thank you for all the amazing feedback on my first On Instagram post that focused on my backgrounds! Today, I wanted to talk a bit about how to find or create the right light for your photos.
Light is the most important thing for beautiful photography. I live in a generally dark house, so I take my photos in the morning light. Before noon is usually good, but during the summer I can take them a bit later as the sun is up for longer. I generally just throw open the windows and let the light through!
I use a basic D-SLR camera, a Canon EOS 100D, with the standard 18-55mm lens that came with it. I’m becoming fond of using the manual setting so I can adjust as I please depending on the amount of light coming in, and the colour and positioning of the book(s).
The light where I take pictures generally comes from behind me and not directly on the object. Therefore, I program my settings to let the most amount of light into the photo and for a slightly ‘cooler’ tone. Generally, they are:
Aperture: f/4.5 to f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/100 – 1/250
White Balance: approx. 5200k (Daylight)
I tend to keep ISO and White Balance relatively static, and play a lot with Aperture and Shutter Speed. Usually, the lower the number, the more light is let in and the photograph is brighter. However, I have to balance these settings. If I have both the Apterture and Shutter Speed at a ‘low’ setting, the result is the photo will be over exposed (basically a white or very blurry, light photo). I try to achieve a good balance in order to bring out the colours of the book(s), while ensuring that my background remains as white as possible.
However, no setting can replicate the tone that can be achieved in the daylight. You can see the range in the two photos below. The first one was taken in the morning daylight and the second in slightly duskier conditions. The only thing I changed was Shutter Speed to let more light in and the photos are unedited. As you can see, the one in the morning light has a slightly brighter, cooler quality, and the second in the dusk has almost a reddish tone.
Even though you can get a picture equally bright and clear, I prefer the cooler tone of the first photo, which is why I prefer to take my photos in the morning.
I think some people use reflectors to ‘bounce’ the light off the objects instead of having the light fall directly on them. Sometimes when the book has foil or shiny text, direct light sometimes means those words are tough to read. However, I haven’t experimented with this and generally I can get away with it by angling the books slightly.
So that’s how I try to get my bright, cool toned photographs! I’d love to know how you use light in your photos. Where do you take your pictures? What time of day do you normally take them? Do you use a D-SLR or an iPhone? I love my iPhone camera, but now that I’ve gone to the dark side, I don’t think I can go back!
I’m really enjoying writing this series and I’ve got at least two more planned. Let me know if there are any additional topics you would like me to cover in the comments below. If you’re enjoying this and my pictures, do follow me on Instagram @ Winged Reviews!