How to Find the Right Lighting for Your Photography

Light is the most important thing to photographers, it’s our job to recognize it and shape it to help us tell our story.

In my opinion there is not really good or bad light, but rather right or wrong light. Does this particular light help convey the message you want to come across in your image or not? The “right” light is all around us every day and most of the time we walk right passed it with out even knowing it.

Photographer and Educator Jerry Ghionis gave a great talk last week at the B&H Depth of Field event in NYC about finding light and the importance of not pigeonholing yourself as a natural light or strobe photographer, but rather just a photographer. This 55-minute talk has tons of useful tips on using the right light to tell your story and getting comfortable using all light sources to your advantage, and noticing the potential in unexpected places. A lot of Ghionis' examples are wedding or fashion photos, but this video gives great tips to any photographer looking to better understand light and how to use what you have available in any scenario to get the look you want.

One quote from the video I love is “if it illuminates, use it.” after watching this video I already start seeing potential in lighting sources that I would have walked by without a thought just yesterday. As photographers we have to have the ability to see potential in things others don’t, whether that's posing, location, wardrobe, or in this case lighting. Ghionis is a master at that and this video should help you get better at is as well.

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4 Comments

Kenneth Jordan's picture

As a beginner this really helped to open my eyes and my mind to lighting. Thanks!

Robert Wagner's picture

Thanks for the comment. I agree. I think his insight and ability to see light differently is really eye opening.

I've been inspired by this video since I saw it on the day it was published. The last week for me revolved all about lighting and by focusing solely on the light I created some images I previously felt incapable of. My composition took a turn for the worse, though...

Robert Wagner's picture

thats awesome, I think once you get more comfortable with finding that light the composition part will come back and you'll just have killer images all around. it's about perfecting the one aspect then putting it to work with the other parts of your skill set... and then do it again and again.