|Light is another “design tool”
that can be used to enhance the overall
mood and intent of the image and subject
Like the composition, lighting is a subject that is worthy of book-length discussions. Whether in shooting or evaluating photos, light should be used to its maximum potential to reveal what’s important in the image and to set the overall tone of the photo.
In masterful hands, lighting is used selectively to focus attention on specific areas of the subject while simultaneously demphasizing less important areas; to guide leading the eye through the composition, and to establish the overall mood and tone of the image by taking advantage of the different temperatures (colors) of light.
Light is another “design tool” that can be used to enhance the overall mood and intent of the image and subject. And, of course, there are few photographers who fail to take advantage of the superb colors of light during sunrises and sunsets.
- When evaluating the lighting merits of a photo, ask:
- Is the intensity and color of light appropriate for the subject?
- Is the light too harsh, too contrasty, or is it too soft and too flat?
- Are all important aspects of the subject well lit, or could the lighting be improved by using a flash, fill flash, reflector, or auxiliary light?
- Does the light help convey the overall message of the photo?
- In a color photo, is the color balanced or corrected for the light temperature (in other words, the overall color should be natural-looking). And if it isn’t, does the color cast contribute to the photo?