For many of us, the main reason we learn to use a camera is to take photos of our kids. Often, we are taking photographs of them on our home. Yet many people find they are disappointed in the photographs they take in their home. Homes can be tricky places to take good photographs until we start using the light that we find there. Read on for some hints and tips on finding and using great light in your home.
EXPLORE THE LIGHT
The easiest way to learn more about the natural light in your home is to watch it, and explore it through out the day. Look at the light in your house throughout the day, but also think about where it is coming from? Big windows or sky lights? What direction is the light coming from? Front, back, side or top down lighting? There are pro’s and con’s to each of these. How does the light change as you move further away from where it is coming from? Look at the type of shadows the light causes. Practice looking at the light in your home. Then look at the people in your home, what the light on the faces is like and what conditions caused the light.
MODIFY THE LIGHT
One of the simplest ways to modify the light in your home is to turn your lights off. Sometimes you may feel you need all the lights on to get enough light. But mixed lighting comes with it’s own set of issues, so experiment with the lights off as well.
If you have areas of hard light, you may want to experiment with using a diffuser to soften the light. You can buy diffusers online, but often net curtains or shower curtains can be just as effective. You want to place the diffused between the light source and the subject. It works by dispersing light so there is now a larger surface area of softer light.
You may also want to try using a reflector. These are most commonly white, and a large piece of white card works well. A reflector is used on the opposite side of your subject to the main light source, and is used to bounce light back onto the other side of your subject.
CHOOSE YOUR WHITE BALANCE
The colour of light changes throughout the day. It is warmer at sunrise and sunset, and cooler at midday.
At the moment you may be using Auto White Balance (AWB), meaning your camera is making adjustments for these slight changes in colour. Your camera might be great at this some of the time, but for most control you will want to control this manually. Experiment with the different settings available, perhaps start with daylight (with the little icon of the sun) for good results. See what looks right for the light in your house. If you shoot in RAW you can adjust the white balance while editing, but it is always preferable to get in right in camera.
BEGINNERS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSES
I hope you found these tips on finding great light in your home helpful. If live in Berkhamsted, Hemel, Tring or one of the surrounding areas and you’d like to learn more about photography, why not find out more about our beginners photography courses? Or join the Berkhamsted beginners photography group on Facebook for more hints and tips.