Take Great Family Snaps: No 4 of 10 tips to improve your photos

Looking for the light.

Your camera is a tool for capturing light and you should train yourself to be sensitive to its many varying qualities. The soft light from a window on an overcast day will create a very different mood from the harsh light of noon-day sun.

Landscape photographers often take their pictures in what they call “the Golden Hour”, when the setting sun casts a warm and flattering hue over the land. Fortunately when photographing people, we aren’t working on such a grand scale and we can position our subject to take advantage of the many different and often subtle types of light.

Direct mid-day sun on a face is rarely flattering but just turning the person around and shooting against the sun can create a striking image where there is a soft light on the face, highlighted by the sun’s strong backlighting. The soft light through a window can be used to pick out the the subject’s features against a strong background, again creating a totally different effect.

There are so many differing types and quality of light that it is impossible to say what will work best but the more you look for it, the more interesting your pictures will become.

 

Juliette in light from a small window

Juliette in light from a small window

Strong sunlight behind Sophia creates a strong halo effect while leaving a soft light on her face

The sunlight behind Sofia creates a strong halo effect while leaving a soft light on her face

The light from a window in an other room creates a strong silhouette of Yasmine

The light from a window in an other room creates a strong silhouette of Yasmine

 

This is the fourth in a series of ten tips on how to take better photographs of your children. The rest will be posted in the next few weeks. Please email me (ken@kensharp.com) if you have any questions about portrait photography or submit one of your own photos for inclusion in Ken’s Tips On Your Pics.

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