The mastery of various wedding ceremony photography lighting techniques is essential to our progression as wedding photographers. Whether we use natural light or artificial light to highlight the subject of our photo, having a grasp of the lighting techniques available to us will speedily drag our nuptials work.
In this postal service, rather than skimming over several dissimilar wedding photography lighting techniques, I’ve called to focus on one that I use well-nigh often in my own work. Information technology’s also a lighting technique used by many of the globe’s most artistic wedding photographers.
In fact, whether you lot’re a wedding photographer or not, I believe yous can use this uncomplicated technique to create interesting photos in whatever situation.
Afterwards reading the lighting technique described below, yous’ll start seeing wedding venues in a whole different way. Fifty-fifty a drab venue tin can exist transformed into something mysterious or spectacular.
How to utilize Light Creatively equally a Wedding Photographer
Using lights creatively in wedding photography is a huge topic and i that usually confuses most people.
Even if you accept a expert understanding of photography and how your camera functions, using supplementary lights brings with it a whole host of new terminology, techniques and variables.
Yous can spend all the fourth dimension you want reading nearly the inverse square constabulary, lighting ratios and everything else that goes into creating a correct exposure using wink, merely I recommend you start by following my uncomplicated guide below.
In that location are a wide assortment of wedding photography lighting techniques at your disposal, but I’ve chosen to talk about just one method that I use at every wedding.
I’ve distilled the process of creatively lighting animage into
2 unproblematic steps
which should help get you close to producing something similar to the images you run into produced by the world’s tiptop wedding ceremony photographers.
Footstep 1 is nigh
light and pace 2 is well-nigh
No matter how complex your lighting scenario, these 2 steps are all that yous demand to think about
in order to
control the light
and produce something that natural light
just tin can’t reproduce.
All yous demand is a camera, an additional lite source (wink, LED console, torch…etc), and a subject. You besides may need a mode to trigger your flash remotely.
Wedding ceremony Photography Lighting Example
Pace 1 | Subtracting the Lite
In social club to replicate this wedding ceremony photography lighting technique, showtime you need to underexpose the scene
with your eyes. I do this by squinting my optics until they’re almost closed, and seeing what objects in the scene are still emitting enough light to register in my vision.
You’ll come across me walking effectually a wedding ceremony venue at some point virtually the end of the reception looking similar I’m sleep-walking. People probably remember I’thousand drunk…
In doing this, I’1000 chop-chop scanning the scene for (illuminated) objects I may similar to include in the composition, or ones that I’d adopt to remove.
When I’ve found a scene that interests me, I’ll motion on to the 2nd role of the technique – using Live View to confirm the underexposure.
If you’ve got a mirrorless camera, and then you tin can use your EVF, merely for the remainder of the states dSLR dinosaurs, nosotros’ll exist resorting to the Live View of our camera’s LCD. (Bank check out ‘Mirrorless vs dSLR’ for more reasons yous may want to ditch your dSLR!)
Alive View is a
hugely underrated functionality
in our cameras. We tin take advantage of Live View to
preview the exposure of a scene,
taking the photo.
Live View effectively does away with chimping, getting united states to our desired exposure much faster and more accurately than ever before.
With Live View (and exposure preview) turned on, I’ll switch the camera to Manual fashion, and commencement underexposing the image by adjusting my camera settings.
The key hither is to employ your shutter speed and aperture to
decrease calorie-free in the exposure, whilst keeping the ISO as low as possible (similar to the process for chiaroscuro lighting). Shooting at a lower ISO volition requite you more leeway in your post product, nearly notably in recovering lost shadow detail.
Once you’ve underexposed your image sufficiently and then that the illuminated areas are appearing equally you lot wish, now you need to work on your composition.
Since whatever horizontal and vertical lines such equally walls, floors or horizons will at present exist lost in the darkness, you’re free to twist and rotate your camera as you wish, using the illuminated objects to frame your discipline, guide the viewer’s eye, or simply to exist used every bit compositional elements.
Earlier y’all bring your field of study into the frame, you have the selection of attaching your camera to a tripod to ‘fix’ the limerick, or you tin can but try and retrieve your composition to be used afterward. I prefer the 2nd option since information technology gives me the flexibility to tweak my limerick if I’ve got something slightly wrong.
If you lot plan to return to the shot later, some other tip here is to utilize your photographic camera’s custom settings. Past saving the camera’southward exact settings to one of the ‘custom banks’, you tin switch back to whatsoever usual manner you shoot in, in order to re-bring together the wedding action, safety in the knowledge that you can return to your ‘LIT’ photo settings in an instant.
Pace 2 | Calculation the Light
With your settings saved, or your camera in manual fashion, you’ve but dealt with one big variable of the puzzle – the
If yous’ve fixed your photographic camera on a tripod, y’all’ve too dealt with another variable – the
Now it’due south time to deal with the next variable – the
At this stage, it’s worth noting that the more experienced you are with using flashes or other lights, the quicker you’ll exist able to estimate things similar calorie-free distance and light output.
However, equally this is a
cheat’s guide to getting the photo, we’ll be resorting to a chip of light-chimping.
So, identify your flash (or alternative light source) in whatever location you’ve chosen to light your subject:
– Perhaps you want a rim calorie-free, so position the flash to the rear of the subject.
– Perchance you want to rim calorie-free the couple, but include some of the groundwork as well, in which case you can point the flash towards a wall backside the couple, withal keeping them close to the flash.
– Or perhaps you just desire to light the subject properly, in which example you can point the flash at the bailiwick from any frontal bending you choose.
At this phase, I’ll commonly grab a member of the bridal party to apply as my subject – they’re usually drunk enough to oblige!
Depending on your scene, you’ll need to adapt your flash output and the distance from your subject appropriately, but for most situations, yous can showtime with flash output at effectually low-medium ability and arrange from in that location.
I’d recommend placing your flash on a stand and leaving information technology in the aforementioned place (or instructing whoever’due south property it to remain withal), and merely adjusting the flash output.
Call back, you need to
deal with all the variables one past one
united nations-complicate your shot. Past keeping your light in one spot, you’ve just dealt with the altitude/position variable.
Since you won’t be able to run into your subject through your camera’s Live View with the ‘LIT’ photo settings, I’d recommend you utilize ane of the automobile settings on your camera (such every bit Programme mode) which will forcefulness the photographic camera to adjust its exposure to let you to view the scene. Then it’southward simply a affair of directing your field of study into your chosen position.
Finally, switch your photographic camera back to your saved settings, tell your stand-in bailiwick to go back to the dance floor, and go and find the newly weds to take their place.
Yous can of class do all of the above whilst using the newly weds every bit your actual subject, but I find it far smoother to set everything upwards in advance. So it’south simply a case of snap-snap… i creatively LIT photograph consummate 🙂
Patently the above wedding ceremony photography lighting technique is just a quick and dirty guide to getting something creative with your lights. Equally I mentioned at the first, at that place are many wedding ceremony photography lighting technique, merely this is but one that I find unproblematic and constructive.
It’s just the tip of the iceberg as you’ll see from the incredible work of the other photographers LIT but I promise that you now experience motivated and inspired to get out there and try it for yourself.
Higher up is an example from a recent hymeneals in Montreal. As for the mail service processing, I had to clone out the face of the wedding ceremony guest who was holding my LED lite panel backside the couple, raise the exposure of the couple slightly, and warm the temperature of the LED rim calorie-free (since I didn’t have a CTO gel to manus at the time.)
To achieve the image, I followed the exact procedure that I’ve outlined in this post. Once I’d found the location at the wedding venue, the entire shot took less than a minute to execute. Post processing took around three minutes.
Lighting Techniques for Wedding Photographers
The information in this post is really an extract from my latest book on wedding photography lighting techniques called LIT.
LIT delves into the artistic minds of over 50 world-class wedding photographers, examining their lighting techniques and uncovering their secrets to attracting imagery.
The LIT volume is the most comprehensive wealth of practical lighting data I’ve ever seen. Cheers for illuminating the way!
– Lanny & Erika Mann
Each photographer featured in LIT explains their idea-process and concept backside each shot, details the bodily execution and even speaks about their mail service processing to provide the finishing touches.
To help further demystify the procedure, lighting diagrams and camera gear guides also accompany each photographer.Whether y’all’re a new or experienced wedding photographer, you tin learn from the detailed explanations in LIT, or simply go inspired to create your own LIT photos during your next shoot.
If you’re interested in seeing more of the hymeneals photography lighting technique described hither and many others caput over to www.lit-book.com.
What are your go-to hymeneals photography lighting techniques? Allow usa know in the comments below 😉
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