Novice must learn the system basic light secret

It is said that photography is the art of light. Using light is not only a basic skill, but also an important content reflecting the level of photographers. No matter how good you are at composition, and how good you are at using props and setting up scenes, you will find that light plays the most decisive role in the final image, because photography is originally using light in drawing. So, as the title of the article said, what kind of photography can you play without using light? Here, the editor specially arranged a relatively systematic and basic knowledge of light use. If you don’t know how to use light, hurry to make up your lessons (knock on the blackboard).

1、 Light source

Light source refers to the light source for photography, which is mainly divided into natural light, ambient light and artificial light.

1. Natural light

Natural light, also known as “natural light”, is the light from the sun to the earth, as well as moonlight and starlight. The intensity and direction of natural light cannot be adjusted and controlled by the photographer at will, and only the angle of the subject can be changed and the waiting time can be selected. Therefore, the photographer should understand the change of natural light and its impact on the photographic light before shooting.

2. Ambient light

In fact, ambient light is also a kind of artificial light source, such as indoor lighting, outdoor street lights, neon lights, lights, and other artificial lights, but not specifically used for photography, all belong to ambient light.

3. Artificial light

The artificial light here refers to the special light for photography. The difference between it and ambient light is that it can be controlled by the photographer. Such as flash, LED shooting light, etc.

2、 Light quality

Light quality refers to the soft and hard nature of the light used for shooting, which can be divided into hard light and soft light.

1. Hard light (direct light)

Hard light refers to strong direct light, such as sunlight without clouds, or artificial light directly shining on people or objects, such as flash light, lighting light, etc. People or objects under direct light have relatively large light on the light-receiving surface and shadow part, clear light, thick shadow, strong contrast and strong stereoscopic sense. It is often used to represent tough, rough or strong objects or characters. In natural light, the light is hard on sunny days or at noon.

2. Soft light (scattered light)

Soft light can also be called soft light. Soft light is a diffuse light with no clear directionality and no obvious shadow on the subject. Its contrast is small, the transition between light and dark is soft, the change of expression level is exquisite, and the color level is rich. Generally, the effect of soft light will be produced in cloudy or cloudy days. Because soft light is soft and delicate, it is often used in the shooting of women and children.

3、 Optical bit

1. Smooth

Shunguang is the most commonly used lighting method in photography, which is the light from the front of the subject. Its characteristic is that it can express the shape and color of the subject very well. Therefore, smooth light is most often used in the field of landscape photography. It can not only fully display the terrain and landform, but also the blue and full sky under smooth light is the best background for setting off various landscapes.

However, when shooting along the light, the side of the subject is not easy to produce shadows, lack of three-dimensional sense, and the picture will appear flat and lack of artistry. When shooting a portrait with smooth light, try to find a dark background or a form of expression that can highlight the subject. Sometimes smooth light is also used to show the blue color or details of the background sky.

2. Sidelight

When taking photos, the light coming from the angle of 45 ° – 90 ° on the left and right sides of the subject can be generally referred to as side light. The side light is changeable. As long as you change the angle of the light source slightly when shooting, you can create a completely different effect and add drama to the whole picture. In addition, the side light can create rich light and shadow changes according to the shape characteristics of the subject, so it is widely used in a variety of photography fields.

Generally speaking, side light is suitable for representing the texture, outline, shape and texture of the subject, or for emphasizing or even exaggerating the stereoscopic sense of the subject, which is very expressive of the majestic and tall buildings. At the same time, side lighting is often used for shooting male portraits, which gives a strong feeling.

3. Backlight

Backlight is the light coming from the rear of the subject. From the front of the subject, the outline light of the subject appears very bright, and the flashing light is very beautiful. This is the most dramatic way of using light. It can create images full of drama or artistic conception, but it may also make the face and details of the subject completely invisible. Pay special attention when shooting. However, if the backlight is properly used, more details can be added to the subject, such as the soft hair of the model, the cilia on the insect body, and even the dust floating in the air.

When shooting a person with backlight, the front of the person will appear very dark in the shadow, so what we should do is to make the face exposure as accurate as possible. This effect may cause the background exposure to be excessive and the halo to be serious, but if we control it well, the effect is still very good. Of course, you can also use the reflector or flash to fill the front light, balance the exposure of the picture, or use the backlight to show the effect of silhouette.

4. Toplight

The top light is the light that shines down from the top of the subject. In the outdoors, the most common time to encounter the top light is about 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. When shooting under the condition of top light, shadows are easy to appear at the middle and neck of the person’s nose, and even black bags are easy to appear, which makes the model not very beautiful. Generally speaking, it is not easy to shoot with the top light, but it can also take beautiful pictures when used properly, for example, let the model look up to change the direction of the light.

When shooting scenery, the top light is a good choice, which can create a bright, lively and warm atmosphere.

5. Backlight

The bottom light is the opposite of the top light. It is the light that shines vertically from people’s feet, which often makes the subject appear dark, scary and rigid. The backlight is more used in stage and drama lighting, but less used in portrait shooting. However, the low-angle reflector, the floor lamp of the square, and the reflection of the ground also have the nature of the backlight, which can be used as a light supplement effect.

6. Rembrandt light

Rembrandt light is a special light technology specially used for shooting portraits. When shooting, the shadow side of the subject’s face is facing the camera, and the light illuminates three quarters of the face, where either side of the face presents an inverted triangle of light, so it is also called triangular light. The face shaped by Rembrandt light has a strong three-dimensional sense and rich layers. More importantly, the eyes on the shadow side still have eye light to maintain a bright and vivid face, and the photos also have a sense of drama.

7. Butterfly light

Butterfly light is also called Paramount light. Because the shadow under the nose is butterfly, it is called butterfly light. It is the lighting method used by the Hollywood Film Studio in the early stage of shooting beautiful women and movie stars in films or stills. The light source of butterfly light is set at the top of the face, which will create the shadow of cheeks and chin, so it will highlight the cheeks and cheekbones, and make the face look thinner and chin sharper, which can enhance the charm of the object. However, it should be noted that sometimes it is necessary to use a reflector to fill the light under the face to eliminate the heavier shadows.

8. Split light

The split light distribution is to place the light source on the left or right side of the object at 90 degrees to make the face show a bright and dark effect. This kind of light will create a strong sense of drama, which is suitable for expressing the characters’ distinctive personality or temperament. For example, artists and musicians are often used to shoot men to show their strong feelings. At the same time, using black and white pictures to show, the contrast between light and dark will be stronger, and better visual effects can be obtained.

9. Annular light

The circular light distribution is slightly modified on the basis of butterfly light, which is very suitable for shooting common oval faces. This method can make the nose cast some shadows on the cheeks. To achieve this effect, the light source should be slightly 30-40 degrees higher than the plane of the eyes and the camera. When using the circular lighting method, the main emphasis is on the figure outline and three-dimensional sense.