photoshoot lighting tips, Why is lighting important for taking a good picture

Why is lighting important for taking a good picture ?

Why is lighting important for taking a good picture ? – Photography is people’s one of the most common hobbies. Modern technologies made the camera a very frequent thing. Nowadays it’s not so hard to get a good camera. High quality cameras became affordable. Even some of the smartphones have really good cameras. So, people can easily capture pictures and post on social media.

But capturing a picture is not enough these days. Photography has become a creative work. People want to capture real good pictures. And today we are going to talk about one of the major role playing elements in photography which you can’t deny. And that is light. We will be explaining why lighting is important for taking a good picture.

The word ‘photography’ actually refers to ‘drawing with light’. The greek word ‘phōtos’ refers to ‘lights’ and ‘graphé’ means ‘drawing’. Photography is totally dependent on lighting. Just because of poor lighting, a good scene can be a bad photograph. On the contrary, with perfect lightning a normal scene can be a stunning image.

Light is able to change a scene completely. Even in photography, lightning can change the perspective. Lightning can define the atmosphere, mood, tone, impression, feeling, color etc. in a picture. Famous and great photographers manipulate the light to make the picture more attractive and meaningful. It’s an art. You will distribute the shadows to some areas and highlight some areas. This can make a huge difference in a picture.

When you are trying to capture a real good picture, you must keep in mind the position and direction of the light source, the position of the main subject and the position of the camera. Generally, lightning can be divided into three main categories. And they are- Directional lightning, Side lightning, back lightning.

Three major types of light


Directional light

A directional light is casting light toward the subject from where the camera is. It will produce a shadow on the back of the subject. It’s not so good looking but sometimes it’s useful. It’s a very simple lightning.


Side light

A side light is quite attractive and gives a dramatic, stunning look. In this lightning system the camera stays in front of the subject and the light source is kept on any side of the subject. This light causes a highlighted and explicit look & defines the texture on one side. And on the other side, it causes a shadowy and mysterious look. Together, it becomes a very good-looking picture.







Background light

Background light is where the light-source stays in the background of the subject. It causes a shadowy and dark effect in front of the subject. It creates some silhouettes of the subject. It becomes an emotional photograph.


Manipulating the light

Why is lighting important for taking a good picture ? – The real effect of lights can be seen when you manipulate them. It means when you change the light angle, light amount, shape the light and so on. You will see how these things can make a picture really stunning and great.


Using diffuses and reflectors, you can change the tone or amount of the light. The lights will be filtered through them and create a soft and well-distributed light. It will block the over exposure and harsh, unexpected lights to make a picture look cool. Diffuses can do another job too. It can create different shapes with your light. Actually you will create different shapes to make your picture awesome. You will cast light to some place and keep some place in the dark. That can change the picture to a greater one. For example- Rembrandt lightning creates a triangle shape on one side of the subject. It’s a quite good one and gives you a cinematic photo.



The temperature and saturation of lights can create another version of coolness. Sometimes the light needs to be more warm and sometimes cool. Also brightness of the light will be considered as a good feature. Together it can give you an astonishing picture.


Why is lighting important for taking a good picture ? – Shadows depend on lights. Their form or intensity or shape and everything can be controlled with light. Shadows play an important and unique role in pictures. It visualizes the three dimensional things. And also shadows can sometimes tell about a subject totally differently. Sometimes shadow itself becomes the main subject. And without light, there is no shadow.



It can lead up to a messy and bad picture if you do not control the contrast of light. Sometimes, your main subject will be amid a lot of harsh and intense light. When you capture the picture, your subject won’t be perfectly visible due to the light surrounding it. So, you have to control the surrounding light contrasts to get your main subject more beautifully.


Casting light from the bottom of your subject can give a different look. When you are capturing a portrayal of some people with light sources on their bottom, it gives you a strong, mysterious and horror look. We all know that our object’s shape is the same as before. But just changing the light angle made it different. So, think about it like this- If you want to show your subject fearful or terrified, you can simply use the bottom lighting. Nothing else required to be changed although you can. Now a person’s or main subjects impression is quite changeable here by lighting! It’s a great example of the importance of lighting.






Light also affects colors. Without proper lights, the color may not be well visible on the picture. Also, light can get it’s color too. A white or natural color in proper contrast and exposure will help to visualize the color in photographs. Color is a very important element. With lighting and it’s angle, colors can be defined or viewed as something else in a picture. Many things about light directly affect the color. Saturation, temperature, white balance and so on. Without adjusting the lighting features perfectly, you can’t expect a good colorful picture.





Why is lighting important for taking a good picture ? – As you have seen some different applications and effects of light, we hope you get the real importance of light. Though, the effects and uses we have shown above are not all. There are dozens of lighting works and angles that can be used in photography. Some lighting will reflect happiness, some shows fear, some visualize  mystery, some explain sadness and the list goes on. When you are capturing pictures, keep lights in your mind. You will realize how light talks, how it explains. The more you master the use of lights, the better photographer you become. Because photography is playing with lights.

You can follow some famous photographers to see how they play with light. Also, you can see some photographs captured by newbies. Perhaps you will be able to identify the mistakes and weaknesses of the newbies. And if you can think and observe deeply, you will realize that lighting is really playing a vital role behind all this.

Experiment with lighting. And use filters, colors, multiple light sources and other lighting applications to find out more. You can also use some photo editing software to work with lights. Some of the software has got really impressive features on controlling lights.


Why is lighting important for taking a good picture ?

Published by
CPH Graphics Media

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