Lighting is fundamental to photography and is one of the most crucial elements. But if you want to take amazing photos, you need to understand light and its properties. Ideal for hobby photographers or those looking to start their own business, the Certificate of Photographic Lighting will provide you with essential photography lighting skills, knowledge and techniques.
Throughout this photographic lighting course, you will learn how to manipulate light and camera settings to take professional-looking photographs. You will also learn how to compensate for imperfect lighting conditions, use filters for different lighting effects, incorporate tone to perfect an image, and distinguish between studio lighting and on-location photography lighting techniques.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a course in photographic lighting techniques include:
- Learning about light characteristics and lighting concepts
- Exploring the properties of light, intensity and colour temperature
- Gaining an understanding of incident or reflected light and light management
- Studying exposure readings, how to plan ideas for photographs and learning from your experience
- Examining how to record your work
- Understanding colour and black and white film
- Attaining knowledge of adjusting light for digital or choosing film and the curve control software function
- Gaining insights into sensitometry (film sensitivity) and the zone system
- Learning about the subject, exposure and the blackness of an image
- Exploring transmission, opacity, density and scatter
- Gaining an understanding of the callier coefficient, characteristic curve and the Zone System
- Studying how to control contrast
- Examining equipment and film
- Understanding how to expose shadows and process the highlights
- Attaining knowledge of light sources and their properties — natural and artificial
- Gaining insights into colour temperature, power or brightness and copy lighting
- Learning about flash photography, flash synchronisation and electronic flash (manual, computer, dedicated)
- Exploring flash problems (eg. red-eye) and mixing flash and daylight
- Gaining an understanding of meters and filters
- Studying how to measure light (centre weighted system, Spot reading meter)
- Examining problems with different meters
- Understanding spot, average and centre-weighted meters
- Attaining knowledge of backlit subjects and using filters
- Gaining insights into other equipment for lighting
- Learning about reflectors including paraboloid aluminised reflectors and reflector attachments
- Exploring the issues with aluminised reflectors
- Gaining an understanding of diffusers, tripods, stands and specialised light sources
- Studying projection spots, cyclorama lights, par lights and ring lights
Top 10 Photography Trends for 2021
Photography trends come and go, which makes the world of photography great for experimentation. Here are the top 10 trends for 2021 (including some photographic lighting techniques) and how they can be used effectively.
1 – Outdoor Photography
Since there have been limits on where we can go due to COVID, many people have take to nature for active adventures like biking, hiking and jogging. In addition to the health benefits, nature also offers a diverse setting to create breathtaking photos.
Nature can be used as a backdrop for different types of photography, from portraits and fashion to landscapes. When taking photos in nature for the first time, make sure you research the weather and your location so that you’re prepared. It’s also a good idea whenever you shoot location-specific photography to carefully plan a shot list so that you leave with all of the photos that you intended to take.
2 – Muted Color Cast
Another new trend that’s come from social media, it is becoming more common for photographers to use filters on their images, usually with one colour unifying and softening the overall image. These filters are usually applied to the images in post-production, and the idea is to make the colours of your photo more cohesive.
There are a few different options for applying this photography trend. You can purchase or create your own filter on Photoshop or use a pre-made filter like those available through Instagram. You can also simply play around with the colour levels and scale down the contrast in your photos to achieve this muted look.
3 – Public Art
With many museums and galleries and museums around the world closed, some people are taking to the streets in order to experience art up close. This photography trend often includes a human subject along with the street art, as it can be a powerful background for portraits.
Research your location ahead of time and determine what weather conditions would be ideal for your intended subject. Then take a walk through the alleyways of your city and be on the lookout for interesting and unexpected compositions.
4 – Drone Photography
Drones are ideal for capturing a bird’s eye view, whether it is for wedding photography or to showcase a real estate property. However, drones can be expensive, so do your research and choose equipment that suits your level of experience. Some drones have built-in cameras and others allow you to attach the drone to your own camera.
Before you delve into drone photography, make sure to understand the rules and regulations surrounding drone use in your state before you invest too much time and money!
5 – Shallow Depth of Field
Depth of field refers to how much of the photo is in focus. A shallow depth of field means that your foreground is clear, but the entire background is blurry. This photo trend helps to emphasise the focal point of your image and communicate the story you are attempting to portray.
If you are a photographer who uses a DSLR camera, a shallow depth of field can be achieved when you set your camera to a low F stop number, allowing more light to enter the camera.
6 – Bright Colours
The trend of using vibrant accent colours is especially popular in commercial, food and product photography trends. Product photographers, in particular, love to be intentional about their use of colour, particularly when it comes to creating a flat lay composition.
When you bring bright colours into your images, choose tones that complement your client’s products and brand. Combine more colourful elements with minimalism, making sure that every component you choose will work well with each other so that your photographs don’t become overwhelming to look at. Simplify your composition so that none of the things you include takes away from the overall look of your photographs. Less is more when it comes to choosing accent colours.
7 – Still Life
With people around the world spending more time at home, still life photography has been making a big comeback. Individuals are finding inspiration in everything from ordinary things found around the home to a curated selection of their favourite objects.
When deciding what to include in your still life, take into consideration the texture, scale, composition and colour of your objects and how they work together. One of the most commonly used photography techniques for capturing still life images is the flat lay, where you take your photograph from a bird’s eye view so that your audience can look down at the overall composition you’ve created.
8 – Videography
With new technological advances, video is more accessible and popular than ever. There are a variety of ways to experience with videography from using a drone to creating cinemagraphs (where one section of your photo is moving to create depth and visual interest). Lighting is key when it comes to videography, so you should invest in a stable tripod.
9 – 360-Degree Photography
360-degree photography allows viewers to examine a product from multiple angles, or to see an entire building or room in one image.
To use 360-degree photography in your work, you may need to download an app depending on the type of equipment you are using. You’ll typically start with a panorama image that you edit in Photoshop or your favourite post-production software.
10 – Silhouettes
The beauty of silhouette images is that they are open to interpretation. By reducing your model to a shape, people can project themselves into the world that you depict in your photo.
Silhouette images are created using photographic lighting techniques like backlighting. Position your subject in front of a strong light source, with no light coming from behind your camera.
Gain a comprehensive understanding of how to use light to create professional photographs and gain professional development towards entry-level positions in the industry with a photographic lighting techniques course such as our Certificate of Photographic Lighting.