Posted by: admin 3月 9th, 2012



PHOTOGRAPHY is all to do with light and its effect on the subject: the way it reveals, shapes, reflects, highlights, silhouettes and of course, registers on film emulsion.
It is in the techniques of lighting that photography is most related to painting. Rembrandt, Titian, and Turner, for example, were masters of lighting, and today's photographers and artists could learn much from these old masters. Each had his own distinctive painting style that came from a profound understanding of lighting.

The same applies to the respected photographers -such as Ansel Adams and Bill Brandt -who combine their deep understanding of light with the necessary technical skills to produce work that can easily be identified as being unique to that photographer.

The amateur photographer who wishes to learn about lighting can begin with a useful and easy exercise: get into the habit of observing the effect of changing daylight on the buildings in Hongkong.

Watch the play of light on the reflective surfaces of the towering modern architecture that surrounds us the early morning glow that gradually lightens and reveals the structures of concrete and glass with their planes and angles; the hard glare of the midday sun, which creates deep black shadows and dazzles the eye with sharp highlights. Mark_Sung2011-11-1254.jpg

A change in weather can also make a dramatic difference to the quality of light, and alter our perception of these same buildings.

When it comes to the use of lighting in photography, there is no such thing as the "right" light for anyone subject. Any form of light is right if it suits the subject and the mood of the picture.
The key to lighting is to ask a few questions before taking the picture: Is the light hard or soft? Is there enough of it? How about the direction of the light? Should the camera or the subject be moved? Is there an overall colour cast present in the scene, such as those found in tungsten lighting, and if yes, does it make a useful contribution to the shot?

To understand why the answers are important, examine one of the factors which determines the quality of light the direction from which the light strikes the subject.

Is it coming from the front, side or the rear? Is it high, low, or level with the subject? The direction of the light source can give a markedly different look to the subject.


Frontal lighting tends to give a "flat" look to the subject because the light is evenly distributed over the surfaces, and there is little difference in contrast between the various tones (apart from the tones the subject itself has).
In some instances frontal lighting is ideal, but by and large it tends to be dull, giving an overall sameness, without contrast or drama. Other factors, such as composition, selective focus, viewpoint, or expression must carry the shot.
To give the subject a three-dimensional look, try side-lighting: turn the camera 90 degrees to the sun or move the subject so that it's lit from the side.

Shadows become an integral part of the picture and can be used to great effect. Side-lighting is also known as "textural" lighting because it brings out the texture of the surfaces.

When trying to capture the feel and substance of, say, rough fabric, a wall carving, or the craggy face of an old man, side-lighting creates tiny shadows which bring out the roughness of the surface into high relief.
Compared with a direct and unfiltered light source -such as sunlight or a spotlight diffused side-lighting is gentler, and the result is a more moody and atmospheric feel.

Lighting a subject from behind is much trickier, but it can produce striking results.
Depending on what angle the illumination is coming from, back-lighting can produce a "rim" lit effect where it follows the contour of the subject or a silhouette if the background is visible.

Or a halo effect if some part of the subject is translucent (such as hair or clothing).
One good example of back-lighting, or contre-jour, is shooting with the sun as the light source.

This kind of lighting can be very effective if the sun is subdued by mist or cloud, or is low in the sky. Contrejour works best when there is some frontal lighting as well so that the extreme contrast between background and foreground is reduced.
Fill-in flash is one answer, but the use of some white reflecting surface such as a sheet of white card or a white wall helps.