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Sep 20, 2018
Arguably the most important element of a quality photograph is lighting. It allows the viewer to properly see the subject, it sets a mood, it reveals details and creates contrast, it casts shadows, and it brings life to what the viewfinder sees. We can’t see without light; and your photograph will be weak without quality lighting sources. The wrong kinds of light, or light incorrectly applied, can even ruin a photo, e.g., overwhelming backlighting or an unwanted glare. Learning proper lighting fundamentals is the key to a great photo and a beautiful art print.
When you’re ready to print your masterfully-lit piece, Print Partner provides professional, boutique online photo printing services for archival quality prints.
A fundamental point is the difference between soft light and hard light. Soft light is diffused or indirect lighting through reflection, and often comes from several light sources. A reflector can create a secondary light source, or a diffuser acts like a filter to soften it. You can purchase a professional reflector or create a makeshift one using paper or aluminum foil. Diffusers can be natural like clouds, or built into the light source and altered, like a lampshade. Textiles like sheer white cloth can be placed over a light to diffuse it, as well. Play around with materials at home that reflect and diffuse for a low budget shoot. Hard light is a stronger, focused light, from a single source like a spotlight or the harsh sun in a clear sky. It casts shadows and creates sharp contrasts. Soft light is preferable when realistic colours and shapes are desired, whereas hard light is better for highlights, contrast, and showing texture.
Light sources can be natural or artificial. Natural is harder to control because we can’t control the weather, but natural weather effects like fog, particles in the air, or the light from a sunset can’t easily be replicated. There is also no equipment necessary; but it can test your patience and luck. Artificial sources can be set-up and controlled to achieve the desired effect but may look inauthentic if not handled properly.
It might be assumed that a bright, sunny day yields the best lighting conditions, but this much light forces contrasts to take over, while detail and accurate colours are lost. Yet, you’ll want ample lighting to capture enough visual information to edit later. Lighting is a balancing act, as well as being both a science and an art. It takes practice to learn how light works with your camera’s lens, aperture, shutter speed, exposure time, etc. For some more tips on lighting and photography, Creative Live has an excellent guide with photo references.
Print Partner offers a range of mediums like canvas, acrylic, and high quality metal prints that present vibrant colours and brilliant light. We can turn your digital file into a metal masterwork up to 60 inches wide. Our acrylic options have a sleek, glassy, light-reflecting and borderless presentation. Our custom canvas prints with thick, wrapped Oxford weave gives an authentic and traditional look with outstanding image clarity.
Our professional customer service team and craftspeople can help you enhance the quality of your image and select the best medium and size options you desire. Contact us any time to hear more about our processes and materials.
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