Don’t you just HATE it when you go to take a blog post photo and you can’t because it is too dark?! Now that the clocks have fallen backwards, yes we gained an extra hour of beauty sleep, it also makes bloggers lives more extremely difficult when taking photos. For example, I can’t now go to the gym after college, go home and take photos like normal because it is just too dark and I don’t want to use 100% artificial light. It SUCKS, and makes photos darker! Hopefully among these tips you can find something to help you conquer the issue!
USING NATURAL LIGHT
Natural light will always be one of the best options, but because it gets darker quicker you need to choose somewhere that will maximize any natural light left. I am lucky because my utility room has large windows and a window in the roof, so generally it is very bright in there. Or go the extra mile, and if the weather is good, take it out side because then you have no limit.
When looking at photography tips, when I had no idea on cameras or lighting, I saw people using reflectors and I was like ‘SAYYYY WHA???’ and ‘Does this make a difference?!’. Basically if you are taking photos next to a large window or using an artificial light source, then the light will be brighter at one edge of your photo, and darker on the opposite side. To make sure you get the same level of brightness across the whole photo, you can place a reflector on the opposite side of your light source, and it will bounce the light back covering the whole area. I just use a white foam board, but you can buy reflectors from Amazon. In the photos below, you can see the left’s bottom corner is darker, but in the right photo it is brighter because I used a reflector.
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In short, the camera has a tiny hole in the lens which changes size to let more or less light into the camera. It’s like the pupil in your eye. The aperture has a number e.g 5.6f and the lower the f number the more light will be taken in, and the brighter your photos will be. If you are using a DSLR you can buy lens which have lower apertures.
POSITIONING AND ANGLES
Aperture is also linked to ‘blurriness’ and how blurred the background will go. The lower the aperture, the more blurred the background will be. When making your lovely flatlays, you don’t have a background to be blurred, so the aperture will be higher, hence the image will be darker. However to keep your photos bright you can change your angle and focus on an object. Do you get me??
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One way, if you are really desperate to generate light when it is dark, is to use a source of artificial light, like a Soft Box. I prefer natural lighting, but I will ALWAYS use my soft box too because it balances out any yellow tones in the lighting, and is just a supplementary option. I would never use 100% artificial light thought because you can get dark shadows around the edges of your photos, and don’t get that glow in your photos.
Sometimes it is thought that by using a white background you are going to get brighter and white photos. I actually really dislike using a plain white board as a background. It doesn’t give a lot of depth or dimension to a photo. If I use a plain board I steer towards my marble board, because at least it looks chic and gives a little extra to your photo. However I have recently been loving faux fur, like in the main photo above, my grey scarf or a white bed sheet. By using fabrics the light is absorbed and not reflected back making blurred patches in photos. Because they also have natural creases you don’t have to avoid any shadows. I think photos with darker backgrounds are mysterious, and also reflect the season pretty well.
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BIG PHOTOGRAPHY SESSIONS
This is the most relevant for the winter period. I try to take all my photos for the week at the weekend or when I get a few hours free during the day when natural lighting is fine. Then I don’t have to rush around every day after college or work, and all my photos will have the same lighting and look like they match.
How do you cope with taking photos in the winter months?
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