Thursday, June 9

Photography Lighting Tips

A couple of things: 
1- If you're a new reader, WELCOME!!! I'm so glad you're here! Please be sure to say hello so that I can do the same and check out your blogs or tumblrs or twitters, etc! 

2-  I'm also thinking of doing a FAQ page sooo if anyone has any questions for me please leave them in a comment below or email me shannon [at] shannonbear [dot] com! I'd love to do a fun post to answer any questions you guys may have for me!

3- Last month I did a guest post for Kam at Campfire Chic on some simple photography lighting tips and I wanted to share it here too in case you missed it!

In October my Mr. and I decided to start our very own photography business! After a lot of thought and consideration we decided to name if after our love story and dubbed it Fox & Owl Studio. Today I'm going to share with you some lighting and technical jargon tips for your photography! When I'm blogging either on shannon*bear or our photography blogalways include photos, even if it's just one. I feel like it adds a lot of visual interest to a post and let's face it, blogging with photos is way more fun!

Turn off your flash. When you can use natural light! I can't stress it enough, use NATURAL light. Usually I just go outside and see what kind of magic will happen. But, when I can't get outside I find a window! We get great ambient outside light, inside around 3pm so I try to do my inside shoots around that time to take advantage of the lighting. Next time you're just sitting around at home take note of when the light is lovely streaming through your windows, you'll be glad you did!

Here is a shot of ambient window lighting
Here is an outside shot

Another fun lighting tip is to create your own studio. This is really great at night, if you just HAVE to take a photo of something you've completed and you're way excited! You can do that on a smaller scale by grabbing a spot lamp and some scrap booking paper, Leigh-Ann has a great tutorial! If you're looking for a larger scale check out Amy's tutorial, it's pretty awesome!

When Kam and I were talking about this post she asked me to share a little bit about ISO and where there is ISO there is also aperture (since they work together). So, we'll dive a little into each one!

What the heck is ISO? Great question. ISO stands for: International Organization for Standardization. But what does that mean? ISO essentially means, sensitivity to light. When you're shooting in manual you will be able to control what you ISO setting should be. Most DSLR's will have settings like 200, 800, 1600, 3200 etc. The REALLY important thing to remember about ISO is the lower the number the less grain/noise in your photograph. Let's say we're shooting outside on an overcast day and we want to capture a dog catching a frisbee. We'll want our ISO to be around 200 or 400. That will allow us to get the activity without blur and keep the noise to a minimum. However, if we are inside in a darker setting and want to capture a couple dancing we'll want to increase our ISO this will also increase the chance for a blur and noise, but will help us to get a properly exposed photo. 

Here my ISO is 800 - too high and too bright
After I adjusted it to 400 it turned out just right!

What the heck is aperture (I call it an "f stop")?
When I first started really learning the ins and outs of the technical aspect of photography aperture was the bane of my existence. It confused me like crazy but I kept practicing and reading up on it and all of the sudden it clicked for me! If you feel the same way, just keep it up, I promise it will get easier to figure out. Aperture is basically the amount of light the lens lets in. A wide aperture will have a small number ie: f/2.8 - meaning your lens is open wide to capture tons of light. A small aperture will have a large number ie: f/22 - meaning your lens is tee-tiny and will only capture a bit of light. Your f stop also controls your depth of field which means how much of your photo is in focus. So let's say our camera is set to f/22 and we're taking a photo of the ocean, our photo will have a large depth of field and most of it will be in focus. It will work the opposite way when you have an f/2.4 with a shallow depth of field and what you're focused on will be in focus with the rest fuzzy. 

f/6.3 - see how much is in focus? Larger depth of field

f/4.0 - See how the fence is out of focus? Smaller depth of field.

There you have it! Thanks, Kam for letting me take up a post on your awesome blog to share this information! I hope you guys find it helpful, if you have any questions feel free to ask and I'll help as much as I can! 

Happy Photo Taking!
xo Shannon


kat said...

awesome tips! i've been learning about f spots and stuff in my classes but you really helped me understand better. i'm horrible at using the manual mode on my camera! try, try again right? thanks for the tips. (ps. i hate flash! great tip! ^_^)

cb said...

oh i just love that idea and the name fox & owl photography is sooooo perfect!

thanks for the compliment on my blog the other day, i just LOVE my new toms! they are comfy and perfect to ride in <3


Nadine said...

Thaaanks so much for sharing that! I need to read through it again in a quiet minute. My photographing is really not that good, so I need some advice like that. :)

Have a happy, creative weekend. XO.

Post a Comment

How lovely! I love to read your comments and I'll be sure to return the favor! I'm glad you're here! xo, S