t f R v 5 r
^

6) CONTROL THE LIGHT


Your Brain

Your camera or smart phone is not as clever as you are…it can only see 4 stops of light (let’s not worry about what stops are for now) but, your eye can see 12 stops. So, for example you line up your friends against a bright background and all looks amazing…you take a picture and your friends are quite dark and the background is not great either…wot the?

The camera or smart phone is trying it’s best to work out the exposure (how much light to capture) so guesses somewhere in the middle, it doesn’t know your friends are more important than the background.

Your job is to help it and prioritise on what’s important.
The great news is that most cameras, phones and apps have something brilliant called exposure compensation that nobody much ever uses. It basically allows you to add or subtract light after the camera has made its guess. It often has the symbol +/-
Check out your device and start using it today!

 

Indoors tricks
What we want is quality of light and not quantity. Often in a room there is way too much light bouncing everywhere to make an interesting picture, so take control! Turn off the overhead lights, close the door, half close the curtains and suddenly thing get interesting.

Taking control may mean moving your subject to a better position….look around, are there any pools of light from windows, maybe turn on a lamp and if not…why not create your own with inexpensive LED video lights (more on that soon)

 

Cheats:

1) Try a HDR (High Dynamic Range) app (or setting) which takes three pictures of varying brightness and blends them automatically to give a single image. Professionals do this manually like this:

 

 

[(o)]   For the next lesson…Step this way:

 

 

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