How to Change the Mood of a Photo Using Lighting

Lighting is about more than simply providing proper illumination that shows your subject off in a good way. With proper control of it, you can evoke certain moods or emotions that can go beyond simply illuminating your photo and create a more complete experience for the viewer. This great video demonstrates how this is done by showing two vastly different moods made using creative lighting.

Coming to you from Karl Taylor, this great video will show you how to use your lighting setup to change the mood of a photo. I particularly enjoy that Taylor does this for an image of an eyewear designer's desk as opposed to one of people, as it really shows off how powerful this effect can be across a range of images. In the first shot, Taylor demonstrates a very clean and luminous image that shows off the products in crisp relief, giving it a punchy feel that makes it easy to pick out each individual item. In the second image, Taylor turns that around by emulating the sort of light you would see from late afternoon sun coming through a window, creating a moodier image that tells more of a story. It is a great demonstration of how you can use light to go beyond just illumination to crafting a mood in an image. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

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5 Comments

Rod Kestel's picture

A nice, subtle demonstration. Using a lot of high end kit - I wonder how difficult it would be to achieve this with say, a couple of speedlights (with modifiers)?

Ted Nghiem's picture

The concepts are the same regardless of gear that is used.

Lighting is key to any good shot by a photographer. The mood of a picture is usually adjusted to fit the creativity of the photographer. I learnt a lot from this clip. Nice one

Robert Nurse's picture

Nice video. I enjoy Taylor and Recher's how-to's. Broncolor lights are awesome! But, they need to rethink the pricing on their modifiers.

Joseph Barber's picture

wow! learned a lot. Especially in avoiding that second shadow with the secondary light, also the use of gels for shadows. Excited to try these out