Photography Tip: Common Lighting Mistakes
If you read our last blog post on photography lighting (and finding alternatives to expensive lighting equipment), photography literally means the capture of light. If we try to take a picture with no light- we'd literally just have black squares and rectangles on our timelines. SO, let's talk about common lighting mistakes you may be making.
1. Leaving your Overhead Lights On
The best lighting for food photos is indirect natural light, but a lot of times we bake and then snap a photo right in the kitchen. The problem with that is that overhead lights are not.... well, appetizing. They are made so we can live life under them so you'll often find that they have a yellow hue and make a lot of shadows. Go ahead and turn those puppies off because they are doing no favors for our photography. Look around your room and see if you can find a big window and move your bakes over there.
2. Direct Light
The sun is awesome but not on our food. Direct light is a little harsh and can make food a little not-so-tasty looking sometimes. What we want to do is avoid direct sunlight because it can oversaturate our colors, cause harsh shadows and overexpose our scene. We want to make sure the light we find is natural light from the sun BUT also not directly in the sunrays. Sun ain't letting you do your thing? You can diffuse your own light! The DIY way is to hang a white sheet in front of the window and looky there - natural and soft light at the cost of an unmade bed.
3. Not using Bounce Boards
Shadows can catch the eyes in photos BUT we don't sell shadows. Have major shadows in your photo? Use a bounce board. Sounds techy but it ain't. Using something as simple as a foam-core board (it's rigid so it makes it easy if you are shooting alone), put your board on the opposite side of your light source and watch the light bounce back onto your scene and take away those shadows. It's magic! This is a great way to get that scene light and bright with minimal effort, folks.
4. Being too far from your Light Source
Ever walk outside when the sun is going down? Your shadow is pretty long. Like a 6 foot giant kind of long. The same is for when you are working in indirect light. The closer you get to the light source, the smaller the shadows. The farther away you go- the longer the shadows. Using all the tips above will eliminate most shadows, but don't sleep on this tip. I try to shoot as close to and as low as I can to my light source to make sure I'm giving the best foundation for my photos.
5. Lastly, Skipping Out on Lightroom
Every single photo I take will take a field trip through Lightroom. Best part? The mobile version is free! Lightroom is just that. A program that takes the light you give it and does some pretty awesome things. Have only a few minutes in the morning to take photos? Lightroom will make it look like you took those photos mid-day in the perfect lighting. Have some shadows that just won't quit? Use Lightroom to lessen your shadows so your bakes can shine.
You can't outrun a bad foundation, so I like to make sure I am set up for success with a food-safe backdrop. Find really neat photography backdrops on our website aeCore Backers - and be on the lookout for new, fun colors to really make your staged sets pop!
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