Fig 8: For supreme lighting, outdoor shots are best taken
in the morning or very late in the day. If shooting in
midday, you should probably set your camera to Fill Flash
to reduce harshness. This photo was taken at 12 noon.
Fig. 9: Indoor shooting can be tricky with lighting, but
a north-facing window gives flattering light. Fig. 10:
Playing with your AV (left image) and TV (right image)
modes will change the focus of a moving subject.
when the sun has just set or is just about to rise is
known as Magic Hour. Its brightly diffused light is
the darling of photographers of car ads and other
hard-to-light surfaces. This even, pinkish light is
also terrific for shooting people. (A similarly flattering light is that of cloudy days. A bride may be
unhappy about an overcast nuptial day, but the
wedding photographer never is.)
9. Master indoor lighting.
Indoor photography can be especially tricky, so
remember these tips:
» Without a flash, indoor lighting lends a funny color
cast to your images. To correct this, set your white
balance if shooting digital. If using film, buy the
type that’s balanced for your type of room lighting.
» To combat harsh shadows from an indoor flash,
try covering it with diffusion material. Even
bathroom tissue or a white T-shirt works.
» Light from a north-facing window can be exceptionally flattering. Try a “window-light” portrait,
in which a person (or object) is placed next to
a window without direct sunlight coming through
and then, often, turned to the side so that only part
of the face is illuminated by the window’s even light.
10. Understand program modes.
To control certain aspects of your exposure in order to
produce desired effects, take the camera out of automatic or P mode, and try the other exposure modes:
» A or AV (aperture value) mode This allows you
to set the aperture while the camera sets the
appropriate shutter speed. You might use AV mode
to lower the shutter speed to create a shallow
depth of field (like f/4.0), which will blur the background and result in clean, snappy portraits.
» TV (time value) mode Here, you control the
shutter speed and the camera sets the aperture.
You might use TV mode when you know you need
at least 1/1000 to capture a flock of bicyclists as
they fly by your lens, but you want the camera to
decide the appropriate aperture for that speed.
In both these cases, if there isn’t enough light to
compensate, your image may still be underexposed.
This will usually be signified by a flashing number in
your camera’s LCD screen where exposure is read.