LIGHT AND PHOTOGRAPHY – THE PRINCIPLES

A well-chosen topic and a good composition is do not always results “the perfect picture”. Have you ever been stopped by the fact that your job as a photographer is to recognize the various light and weather conditions and only after that to choose the right settings?

Without light is no photography but “writing with light”, as photography is also called, is very complicated. It could be an indigestible meal for you as a starting, hobby and / or occasional photographer. Without the explanation of the underlying technology, you can find different tips about photographing in sunlight, cloudy weather, night scenes and much more.

THE CORRECT EXPOSURE

The target is a picture which is similar to the original scene. All tones must be present, from the shade to high light. The high lights need to be bright, but still show some texture and the shadows to be dark, but light enough to distinguish details.

All light meters in digital cameras are calibrated for a correct exposure as the light comes into contact with subjects and scene has roughly 18% of the light reflection. Why is the exposure determined like this? Most subjects of photos are ordinary people or landscapes. Skin tones and the green, brown and blue colors of the landscape reflect usually 18% of the light – black and white images, this is middle gray. So imagine how middle gray looks like and remember that.

The automatic exposure system in the camera gives usually the right results, but if you want to get the exposure each time exactly, you need to pay attention in advance to decide how you want the photo to look like. The reason is that your camera will expose all the scenes like they are ‘average’. What this really means is that scenes with light tones such as a snowy landscape, would be underexposed. On the other hand, dark scenes, such as dark objects, would be overexposed. Furthermore, between subject and background it can also be a high contrast. The contrast range of digital cameras is much smaller than that of the human eye. You can better accept this and anticipate if needed.

It is therefore extremely useful to test how your camera responsea in different situations of exposure. You will notice that it functions in some situations better or you need to use only a small adjustment to get the perfect photo.

Most digital cameras have a wide range of possibilities to influence the automatic exposure or even to set the exposure completely manually.