Hey there photographer friends. Yes, I'm talking to you. :) I have had a lot of questions about blog photos and lots of you have shared with me that you want to take better blog photos. So, today we're going to break down how to take brighter photos for your blogs. And if you're not a blogger, don't you worry, these tips and tricks are for you too, because it's always beneficial to know how to get better light in your photos.
THE SET UP
The biggest thing about creating brighter photos is having plenty of light and being able to reflect the light. Reflecting the light isn't to hard to accomplish. Pick up a few white foam boards from the store and you're good to go. But before you can reflect the light you need a good light source. So, first things first, find a good window that lets in a lot of light. I shoot at the same window every time. On over cast days I can shoot there any time. When the sun is out I stay away from shooting in late afternoon hours because the sun directly comes in and creates hard shadows. Once you feel good about the light that's coming in through your window, set up your white foam boards. You can see above that I have white foam boards on all but two side of my set up.
THE CAMERA SETTINGS
The most important thing about your camera settings is getting a proper exposure. When I shoot inside I have to pay special attention to what the light is doing. Because we live under a canape of trees a lot of the light that I'm getting is diffused and sometimes I'm not getting a lot of light at all. I compensate for this by taking advantage of my tripod.
- Shot Details: Nikon D700 + 50mm
- ISO: 250, F-stop: 2.2, Shutter speed 1/160
For this particular shoot I didn't have to use my tripod, but don't be discouraged if you run into dimming light, grab your tripod and give it a go. Also, let's talk about ISO really quick. If you're wanting brighter photos you can always pump up your ISO, which increases your camera's sensitivity to the light, but with an increased ISO you can run into noisy or grainy photos. So give both a try. With low light, grab your tripod or bump up that ISO.
SEEING THE DIFFERENCE
ON THE LEFT
I want to point out two different things about the photos above. First, when shooting with one direct light source and reflecting the light, pay attention to shadows. The photo above to the left has a shadow casted by the cooking bag. I tried a few different layouts to see how the styling would look the best and I stayed away from having the cooking bag on the right side of the books because the shadow. Placing the cookie bag on the left side of the books produced more even light.
ON THE RIGHT
On the right you'll notice lots of shadows and far more uneven light. In the photo to the right I took away the white foam boards, meaning there wasn't any light to reflect back on the products. As you can see the image is far more dark and overall less visually appealing.
So what can we take away from today? First up, find a great light source, a window or a sliding glass door would be perfect. Grab your reflectors, and pay attention to the details of your layout. Lastly, set your camera for good exposure. When in low light, bump up that ISO or grab your tripod.
Friends, I would love to know if these tips are the helping you. :) Give me a shout on instagram or in the comments if you would like me to take a look at your work. What have been some of your lighting tricks that have helped brighten your photos?