Properties do not understand the ambient light, you think it really can make a good portrait?

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For portraits, the ambient light directly affects the color and tone of the work.
to understand natural light and take advantage of them, each portrait photographer is the most basic required course.

After the author released the following figure, some friends asked, “Why lit shots, the model’s back is still so bright and clear it?”

Bacillus winter because light in color, highly reflective, half the height of the sun subtilis
reflected on the white clothes, the balance of light than a certain extent.

in the natural light conditions, most of the time in the environment of the object light reflection will have different degrees of light and shadow.

how to harness natural light, high-quality portrait photo shoot?

us from several in terms of:..

1 different intensity illumination

2 the light in different directions < / p>

3. light emotion expression

4. light and patterned

5. the reflected light

6. choose the right time < / p>

7. late light


1. light of different intensities

the lightness divided, there
light, low light and shimmer.
Among them, the environment is often glare of direct sunlight outdoors.
This time also the strongest than the maximum, light impact, but need to be more accurate exposure, the latter when the tolerance of equipment required is relatively high, the situation is “dead white, black death,” the otherwise prone.

cloudy days
or when shooting indoors, often of a low-light environment.
This time ratio is relatively small, the exposure control is relatively easy, it is suitable for the new practice, the light source direction perceived culture.


a misunderstanding: many believe that the light intensity is, the higher the quality of light.

In fact, the quality of light is determined by the picture of the distribution of light and shadow, a reasonable proportion and distribution of light and shadow can make the picture more texture.
It does not necessarily require bright light to achieve this effect.

2. Light in different directions

The dividing direction, can be divided along the direction of illumination light, the backlight, the backlight side scattered light
four categories.
Each light source direction can make the picture tone, style and even the emotional nature of the changes have occurred.

light environment in cis , people often luminance greater than the luminance of the background, and background may contrast, prominent figures.
But if the light is too strong, it will lead to too much contrast, if the exposure of people to ensure correct, it is easy background a mass of dead black.
In addition, the characters because by the large area of ​​light, tone is not strong, layered character itself will be weak.


cis characteristics of light:

· light distribution: before and after the light-dark

· visual effects: a body projecting

· shooting difficulty: small

· visual effects: weak

in backlit environments , the persons are in between the camera and a light source illuminating the environment, but the characters in a dark portion, while the characters and the background has a great contrast in brightness sometimes can see a nice profile of light, but few details of the main characters,
face light nor beautiful.
At this point if you use reflectors fill light, the screen often give additional light source, breaking the original balance of light and shadow, so that the screen does not seem natural.


backlighting features:
< / p>

· light distribution: front dark light

· visual effects: the main outline of prominent

< strong> · shooting difficulty: large

· visual effects: strong

backlit side means
Although the figure substantially at the same time between the camera and the light source, the light forms an angle with the figure, the light illuminates the characters contoured side, so that more people level, relative backlight more detail.
This location allows light exposure and post-processing to reduce the difficulty and easier to grasp than pure backlighting.


side of the backlight features:

· light distribution: front dark light

· visual effects: body contour prominent retain some details

· shooting difficulty: Normal

· visual effects: strong

scattered light is common in shade
outdoor day
, clouds block the sun, like a huge diffuser to uniformly spreading ballast light to every corner.
Since the transition is too soft light, the lack of clear tone, in this case regardless of the character or level environment is not obvious.
While shooting easy, but the visual effect is weak.
But the scattered light is also suitable for shooting a particular theme, which is also explained in detail in the next section.


scattered light features:

· light distribution: no

· visual effects: poor

shooting difficulty:

· visual effects: weak

3 light and emotional expression

Movies light generation, both in relation to the screen can bring different feeling to the audience.
Photographers can also use a mix of both to express emotions.
According to the characteristics of light, the emotion to be generally divided into three categories:

if the bright screen in a major proportion, you can give the audience a certain degree of positive feeling.

below, the screen is bright most of the area, expanding the visual sense of space, and then people feel bright and relaxed.

if a large proportion of the dark part of the picture, then compress the visual sense of space, and then people feel repressed emotions.
below, but also to the overall dark and narrow the bright dandelion arm is especially pronounced.

Thus in this case, the photographer should be noted that the brightness of the subject is sufficient contrast with the environment.

weaken than light intensity can be impaired to some extent on the emotion.

Although a cloudy day, photos, visual results are poor, but also can make the mood light and shadow caused by weakened, so get creative in other areas of the screen.
As shown below, choose a cloudy day shooting the picture is bright spot is that because of the action figures and inexplicable cloud, imagine if the picture on the right is the sunset Huoshao, the audience’s attention is also very difficult to concentrate to figure bodies.

plurality or multiple light Movies can act violently emotions, in general, contrast
the larger, relatively more intense emotional expression.

4. light and composition

when it comes to composition, many people will think of the picture of point, line, surface.
But apart from the minimalist photography, the vast majority of cases rely solely on these three elements is not enough.
Because although the picture is a 2D plane, but the photographer’s work is to show the 3D effect in 2D, this time not only to consider the picture composition in the transverse direction, also we need to change the use of light and shadow to enhance the picture “feeling of depth.”

in the figure, the three different brightness tree constructed with lighter background image space on the longitudinal position of the character in the golden section and with direct light produced a strong contrast and texture, a
aspects of establishing the dominant position of the characters, on the other hand will figure in the middle of the vertical space, and emphasize a three-dimensional.

the graph below is the use of before and after the three trees and background to create a sense of space, lightness and prospects character, background contrast, attract the audience attention.

5. the reflected light

in the face of many large backlit light, first thought to use a reflector or fill flash.
However, artificial light source appears inevitably make up stiff.
In this case, the photographer may be possible to rely on the natural environment to fill light reflective dark portion.

in the figure, the right rear sun shot over, so that the high reflectance model paper boat close to the face, can fill light to darker on the left face, nasolabial folds can be eliminated
a kind of shadow.

and lower
drawing, so that the model squat, the reflected light is close to the ground, may be formed reasonable fill light when backlit.

6. select the right time

in the above already mentioned, the most important thing is to adapt to changes in the environment, then shot timing of selection is particularly important to capture natural light portraits.
In general, the day most of the time period for photography focus on 30 minutes before and after sunrise and sunset.

FIG photographing the sunset time is about 20 minutes cis-light shooting, though has no
direct sunlight, but left the final touch of the horizon light faintly illuminated the clouds, so cloud has a sense of depth can be seen during the day, but also to have some dark picture details.

and because the light is weak, so enough with the intensity of the flash overshadowed the impact of natural light on the model, so that the audience can not see the obvious effect of sunlight.

If the shooting earlier, the flash is not sufficient to suppress the sun, shooting late, the impact of clouds and sun screen dark portions too small, the clouds on the lack of texture, shadow will appear dead

7. Late light

If you have a sufficient understanding of the natural light, so late is also a great help.

substantially from the toner image to the synthesis of light adjustment can not be separated.

The following figure after the completion of the synthesis of walls, balconies, models the three main elements, the lack of light and shadow, the entire map looked very dull.
But after adding shadows, allowing the audience to feel the presence of light, the visual effect is considerably.

the creative
things together, the lack of tone, lighting effects can not see

modeling using
to clear shadow, the shadow of making the PS img src

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FIG completed


Movies there is light, when natural light portraits, light and shadow Consideration should be combined to select the appropriate light intensity for different subject, the light source direction and the appropriate
shooting time, allowing natural light to play a greater role in the shooting.

later time, the proportion of light and shadow in principle to destroy the original picture, if you want to change the artwork by the late shadow relationship, then you need more in-depth study in order to better achieve their goals.

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