MY LIGHTING PROCESS: Adding Artificial Light

1)    What do you want the photo to ‘feel’ like? What do you want the lighting to ‘feel’ like?

2)    What is the overall mood you are going for?

3)    What kind of light do you want on your subject to help achieve that?

4)    What is the existing light? What type and source of light is it? What color balance?

5)    Is the existing light natural or artificial?

6)    Will you incorporate the existing light, block it off, or overpower it?

7)    What direction do you want the light to come from?

8)    How will it light your subject? How will it light or affect the background

9)    What kind of light do you want on the background?

10) Do you want the background brighter or darker than your main subject?

11) Based on those answers, I will add light to the background or subtract it

12) Each light added should have a purpose or reason to exist.

13) Block direct or back light from shining directly into your lens with a lens hood, gobos or flags.

14) Determine the aperture I want to shoot at based on the depth of field required

15) Meter the light at the subject’s face. Compare that that to the rest of the scene and the background.

16) Light subject to the chosen aperture by turning up or down power levels not by moving the lights.

17) Choose shutter speed to increase or decrease the ambient or background light level.

18) Don’t let technical aspects impede the content of the photos but rather enhance it.

19) Don’t forget about the emotional connection to the subject and what you were trying to convey when originally conceiving the shot!


© Douglas Beasley 2017