Saturday, October 18, 2008

Available Indoor Light and You

I don't pretend to be an expert when it comes to lighting. I have an idea what good lighting is like (portraiture) whether indoor or outdoor, though I can't say I'm able to achieve it with precision. Taking photos with available light, avoiding flashes and strobes, gives one's photos a different feeling, even letting a viewer feel as if he or she were truly there. Outdoor portraiture depends a lot on the sun as your major light source, and it's not something you can switch on, and off at will. Light modification outdoors takes a lot of creativity, and often other people besides yourself.

Lighting subjects indoors is another challenge altogether. Different indoor lighting fixtures give off different colors, not to mention different amounts of light. Depending on the situation, there are several things you might need to consider to adapt to said light, or in a different circumstance, you might consider having the light adapt to you.

If you're lucky enough to be able to shoot a subject in a room with available track lighting, and have the permission of the owner, you could manipulate said lights to provide you the illumination you need. Point high ceiling-mounted spot lights on the subject and go!

Then again, there are those lighting fixtures that might make good elements in the pictures themselves. Colorful hanging lamps or chandeliers might help provide the light you need and add a touch of interest to your end photo.

Keeping in mind that you'll be using artificial light sources, and different ones at that, you might consider changing your White Balance setting around to figure out what kind works best. More on that in another entry perhaps.

Personally, I would seriously consider investing in fast glass (lenses with big openings - f1.8 to 2 if possible) and / or a stable tripod. Depending on just how much available light there is, you might also consider telling the subject to be extra still.

I hope something made sense in this post. Hehehe. Will post pictures illustrating what I mean in future I hope. For now, however, I must switch off my lights and get some sleep.

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