A Short Course Book
Using Your Digital Camera
A Guide To Great Photographs

Using Light and Color Creatively

 
 
With backlighting, and the subject against a dark background, you can get a "halo" effect with the hair.
Light is one of the elements of a scene that you can alter, play with, control, and make a less or more important part of your picture. Light can make a picture ominous or airy, glowing or velvety dark. To use light creatively, you may have to override your camera's autoexposure system.

An unusual color balance can be created with an image editing program or simply by taking advantage of the existing light on a scene. Try taking one picture in the usual way, then, before you move on, see if any other alteration of the image might be feasible. There are no film costs so shoot as many pictures as you can think of. You may be surprised to discover what works and what doesn't.

Rays of light breaking through the clouds are more readily visible when positioned against a dark background, as in this scene of the sun pouring through a hole in the clouds.

When photographing sunrises or sunsets, the sun needn't be the center of interest. Here your eye is drawn to the man returning to the club from a sailing race and lifting his arms in a sign of victory.

One thing that's easy to forget is that we photograph light. In most cases, you can't create the light, you can just recognize it when it's there. It's the light that gives this image the mood it has. With most other light this scene wouldn't be anywhere near as dramatic.
Shooting into the sun before sunrise gives soft muted colors.

Sunlight filtering through an orange dome makes everything take on an orange hue.

The soft morning light on a misty day mutes the colors and gives a soft look to the image.


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