The Ultimate Guide to Photography Lighting

Lighting is a crucial factor in creating a successful image. Lighting determines not only brightness and darkness but also tone, mood, and atmosphere. Therefore, it is necessary to control and manipulate light correctly in order to get the best texture, vibrancy of colour, and luminosity on your subjects. By distributing shadow and highlights accurately, you can create stylised professional-looking photographs.

The source your light is coming from has a significant impact on how it falls on your subject. Light originating from behind the camera, and pointing directly onwards, gives very flat lighting. It will also cause shadows to fall in the background of the image. Side lighting produces a far more interesting light, as it shows the shape of the subject much more and casts it in partial shadow, giving it a more dramatic look. Rembrandt lighting is a typical practical example of this lighting type. Lighting sourced from the back of your subject gives an alternative effect. This time most of the light is hitting the side of the issue, making it brighter, which creates a more distinctive and dramatic photo.

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Master the fundamentals of photography, from the basics to advanced techniques, and become a professional photographer. Adding a diffuser to your light source can reduce glare and harsh shadows and also diminishes blemishes on your subject. It gives your artificial light a softer, more natural-looking result. You can diffuse light in numerous ways. Using softboxes, umbrellas and sheer heatproof material work really well to achieve this result.

Light can be manipulated to fall on a particular area of interest on your subject. This can be achieved through the use of diffusers and photography reflectors. Collapsible reflectors Shape sunlight or bounce flashlight with a location you’d prefer to highlight. Spotlights can also be covered in light shapers that enable you to have more control over the direction the light will fall and how broad the light spans.

Importance of light in photography

Professional photographers understand the relationship between their camera setting and the light they are getting. Different light can cast a different impact on the picture. If a photographer knows how the light will change the picture, he or she can click the image he wants.

Photography lighting can be the difference between a breathtaking photo and an ordinary one. Whether a photographer knows about the science behind the photography light or not, he still uses it to capture a fantastic shot. Without the lighting, a photograph is grainy or blurred. Photographers use lighting ratios to contrast the photo. The Lighting ratio describes the amount of light illuminating the highlighted side versus the shadow side. Professional photographers understand the relationship between their camera setting and the light they are getting. Different light can cast a different impact on the picture. If a photographer knows how the light will change the picture, he or she can click the image he wants. Choosing the right wedding photographer in Melbourne to capture every moment on your wedding day. Following are various factors that help you to get the best shot:

Quality Of Light

The Ultimate Guide to Photography Lighting

One of the critical aspects of any photograph is the quality of light, whether you are working outdoor or you are in the studio. Utilising light to your advantage is a crucial skill that one photographer needs to acquire to be a professional photographer. The “impression” of the light in a photograph often can adjudge its visual impact. Before utilising light in your shot, you should be aware of the qualities of light- 

Intensity – Intensity is the amount of light or strength produced by a specific light source. It is the amount of light reflected by the photographer and the background. 

Colour – The colour of the light reflected by the photographer and the background. 

Direction – The angle of the light determines the location and length of the shadows cast by the performer and the three-dimensional props around him. 

Characteristics of Light

1. Brightness 

2. Colour 

3. Temperature 

Brightness is easy to handle, but colour and temperature are delicate concepts. Colour and temperature need to be manually adjusted according to the intensity of light you are receiving. Photography is about capturing light and recording it, whether on paper or in digital form. As a photographer, you can control the amount of light, its intensity and the duration to capture the shot. 

Natural Light

Paying more attention to natural light is better than artificial lights. It requires great skill to efficiently utilise the natural light and capture the great shot. Natural sunlight is the best source of light the photographer could use. On a clear and bright day, you could use sunlight to capture different types of shot. Photos clicked in the middle of the day will be bright, sharp and will have plenty of details. Sunlight creates a different effect at the start of the day and the last few hours before it set. When the sun is at the lower horizon, the sunlight scatters, and the colours shine through the atmosphere at different angles. 

Low Light Photography

Clicking photos in a low light situation can be a challenge, especially for a beginner. Clicking pictures while using flash will wash out the colour of an object due to intense light. On the other hand, if you click a photo without flash, the picture will be grainy and blurred. So, if you want to connect a photo in dim light, you can change the setting of your camera accordingly to compensate for the low light as much as possible. You can set the ISO at a higher level so that the camera shuttle will take advantage of any light available in the area. To avoid any camera movement, it’s better to use a tripod. 

Fill Light Photography

Fill light photography is using a supplementary light source to lighten shadows in an image. It is often used in portrait photography to the contrast between the image subject and image background, giving a sense of depth.  Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

Lighting is a crucial factor in creating a successful photo. Therefore it is necessary to manipulate and control light to get the best vibrancy of colour, texture and luminosity of your object. 

Eight types of photography lighting

Whether you’re brand new to photography or have been taking photos for ages, it’s always a good idea to brush up on some of the most popular, versatile and commonly used lightings in photography. When you’re deciding what type of light works for your project, it’s going to come down to your subject and the concept and mood you are attempting to execute. Wild Romantic Photography has the best range of services of wedding photography Yarra Valley. Check them out here.

There are so many types of lights in photography, and they each create different effects, here of some of the most common types of light and how to use them.

Flat light

When you have your light source facing directly at the front of your subject, this is flat lighting. Flat lighting on a face will mean that your subject is well lit, and you are unable to see any shadows along their face.

Broad light

With broad light (a type of side lighting), the face of your subject is at an angle, and the most well-lit side of the face is closest to the camera, and the shadow falls on the backside of the face. This type of light can make a face look fuller, so it’s ideal for those with very narrow faces.

Short light

Another type of side lighting, short light, is the opposite of broad light in that the face is at an angle, and the shadow falls on the side of the face closest to the camera. This type of light works well to thin a face and is flattering on most people.

One thing to keep in mind is that shadows draw out textures and imperfections. While broad light is a wonderful way to emphasise freckles, it will also draw out imperfections like acne and scars.

Knowing how your subject feels about those imperfections is important so you know if you should hide them with another type of lighting or if they’re okay with you showcasing them with short light.

Split light

Split lighting is another type of side lighting, but it is defined as light that hits your subject from the side at a 90-degree angle.

You can easily recognise split lighting in an image by half of the subject is lit and the other half in the shadows. With a face specifically, you’ll see the shadow line straight down the middle of the forehead, nose, and chin.

Split lighting tends to make your subject look tough and masculine, so you want to really consider your subject when choosing this type of lighting.


The Ultimate Guide to Photography Lighting

Backlight is just that, light that comes from behind your subject. This is commonly seen in photos from the beloved golden hour when the sun is low on the horizon and starting to set, but it can be done at all hours of the day.

Sources of the backlight can include a window behind your subject in the middle of the day to a flash placed behind with a colourful gel for something fun.

As beautiful as a backlight is, it comes with its own challenges, which can include a look of haziness and lack of clarity in your subject. Because of this, I like to do a few things. We have an exclusive range of wedding photography Mornington Peninsula services. Check them out here. 


One of my favourite ways to use a backlight is to let the light just barely creep into the frame. When doing this, there’s a pretty glow that creates a welcome contrast to a dark background. In this situation, I often expose my subject darker than usual to further that contrast and create a warm and relaxing feel to an image.


Sometimes I want the strong haze that comes with the sun warmly filling the frame but losing clarity in my subject’s face is no good. To combat the loss of clarity, I use a reflector for popping some of that sunlight back onto my subject.

When using a reflector, place it opposite the light source and then adjust the angle to direct the light exactly where you want it. You’ll also want to move the reflector closer to your subject for stronger light and further away from softer light.


Similar to a reflector, off-camera flash combats the lack of clarity that comes with lots of backlights. Off-camera flash is used just the same as a reflector to light the face.

While a reflector is cheaper and easier to carry around, off-camera flash has more power (aka light) and won’t encourage squinting (very important to consider if your subject is extra sensitive to light like my son).

Rim light

Rim light falls under the backlight category but deserves a spot of its own. With backlight, you often see the hazy or airiness from the light in the background resulting in highlights, but you don’t have that with rim light.

With rim light, you’ll see the light from behind only highlight the edges of your subject (there’s a little haze falling into the top right of the frame below, but you can see how the rim light separates the subject from the background). This is great to use when you need to separate your subject from the background.

Butterfly light

With butterfly light, the light is placed above and in front of your subject to create a small shadow under the nose resembling a butterfly (hence the name). This type of light beautifully highlights prominent cheekbones, which is why you most often see it used on women.

However, it emphasises the shadows from deep-set eyes. Again, know your subject’s face and how the light will affect their features. Butterfly light is also commonly referenced as paramount light.

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Loop light

Loop lighting is pretty much my go-to when creating light. With loop lighting, the light is about 45 degrees to the side and slightly above eye level.

This position of the light creates a shadow just under and to the side of one nostril and the nose. This is a flattering type of light on almost everyone.