Finding Light – step through these photography tips for beginners using a DSLR camera. These photography tips and techniques will amaze you!
Photography Tips for Beginners
Often times, before I even pick up my camera I’m known to say, “Oooohhh! That’s pretty light!”. Finding light has to be one of my favorite things to play around with in photography. It’s always changing and you can find great light sources in many places.
What are the basics of Photography?
Finding light can sum up that question…
Light creates a mood in its brightness or darkness and in its contrast. Great light can be found in lots of different places. While I do have some soft boxes and an external flash, I prefer to get creative and find the natural light. Here are some places and ways to try.
1- Open a Door –
In this self-portrait I opened my front door and plunked myself down right in the beautiful soft morning light that was streaming in. The sun rises on this side of my house so it was perfect. Knowing where the sun is, even when you’re inside will help you find a nice spot.
2- Shoot by the Window –
A nice open window can provide the right light too, and in many different ways. Your subject could be lit from the back, the side, or the front depending on where you place them. Each will create a different look or feel. Lit from the front will produce a natural, even feel. From the side will produce more shadows and texture for a more dramatic look, and from the back can create either a silhouette or a bright blown out background.
3- Turn on a Lamp –
Using lamp light can be a little tricky sometimes. It only lights a small area and it can be kind of yellow sometimes; that is where editing will come into play. But using a lamp can create a really different mood to your photos. In this photo my kids had fallen asleep on the couch. They looked so peaceful and calm and I wanted to capture that feel. I scooted them closer to the lamp on the table and positioned their faces towards the light.
Using light truly can capture the emotion in your pictures!
4- Use the Room Light –
In this photo, I used only the light in the bathroom and my bathroom has no windows. Just like lamp light it can come out looking a bit yellow, but changeable with post processing. When you have little light, like with a lamp or here in my bathroom you’ll need to play with your exposure triangle settings. I didn’t want to slow my shutter too much because I was shooting my daughter so I opened my aperture wide and upped my ISO. I removed a lot of the yellow tones in editing.
Don’t let low light scare you away from taking pictures – use these low light photography tips to boost your confidence!
5- Natural Light Studio Set Up –
I don’t have my own studio but I like to get creative and make it look like one! This is set up in my dining room. My dining room has a sliding door on one side, a window on the other, and opens to the living room on the third where I open all the curtains. On a nice bright day there is a lot of light in there. For this shoot I bought as wide of a roll of craft paper as I could find on amazon taped it to the wall and continued on to the floor. It’s inexpensive so I did two layers so it wasn’t transparent. My daughter loves to paint so I knew she’d go to town and make it fun.
To help with light inside, know your exposure triangle. Knowing how ISO, aperture and shutter speed work together with help you make the best of any light. Use your light meter. I rely heavily on my light meter. It’s the first thing I use to choose my settings. I shoot in RAW and when there’s not a lot of light I shoot underexposed knowing I can brighten it in post.
Go for it!
Experiment. If it doesn’t work out, keep going.
You’ll find the light.
Hi!! I’m Emma. The lady with the camera. I am mommy to two beautiful children, wife to a military man, a lover of all things adventurous and artistic, especially photography. I learned film in a dark room and when the world turned digital I began to teach myself. Here are some things I have learned!