What are Light Sources?
A light source is anything that produces light, both natural and man-made.
Types of Light Sources
There are two categories of Light sources:
- Natural Light
- Artificial Light
Natural light in photography refers to any source of light produced by the sun. Natural light is the most basic type of light. The amount and quality of light available is affected by a number of factors, the most important of which are the weather and the time of day. A sunny day provides full illumination, whereas an overcast day may provide a photographer with texture and nuance.
TYPES of Natural Light
When the sun's rays fall directly on the subject to be photographed, this is referred to as direct sunlight. Due to the harsh shadows created by direct sunlight, it can be difficult to work with for beginners. However, direct sunlight creates high contrast which in turn creates dramatic looks on subjects.
Direct sunlight can be a backlight, when the sun is behind your subject or a sidelight, when the sun is to your subject's side.
Shade / Overcast
Natural light that is shaded or overcast is diffused sunlight. It is the most convenient time to photograph. This produces a soft, even light with low contrast (meaning no harsh shadows). This type of light looks great on subjects with rougher skin and is commonly used in portrait photography.
Golden hour occurs during the first hour after the sun rises or the hour before the sun sets. Many photographers adore this type of light. At these times of day, gorgeous, warm, soft light is cast. The light is flattering from any angle, whether the sun is shining from the side, back or directly on your subject.
The drawback is that this light does not last long, so you must shoot quickly.
ADVANTAGES of Photographing with Natural Light
Nature provides it freely.
Natural light photos differ depending on the time of day they are taken. A photo taken during the golden hour will look very different from one taken in the middle of a sunny day, which will look very different from one taken at dusk, or even at night.
Great For Indoor and Outdoor Photography.
Natural light can be used for both indoor and outdoor photography, such as portraiture and landscape photography. Light enters buildings through windows and doors, and it can be captured for use in indoor photography.
Disadvantages OF PHOTOGRAPHING WITH NATURAL LIGHT
Natural light's inconsistency makes it difficult for photographers to rely on completely for their shooting sessions.
It is extremely difficult to achieve reasonable control over natural light.
The sun's shadow can be very harsh, especially at midday. In this case, you'll have to rely on reflectors and diffusers to soften or eliminate the harsh shadow formation.
Non-availability at Night
There will be no light from the sun at night and the moonlight is frequently insufficient to illuminate your subject. As a result, you cannot rely on natural light at night for most of your photo shoots. At this time of day, you will have to rely on artificial lighting.
Only in the morning and evening are natural lighting conditions ideal for photography. In the afternoon, the light is extremely bright. As a result, most photographers avoid shooting in the afternoon.
Artificial light is any light source that is not naturally occurring. Artificial light includes flash/strobes, as well as any indoor lighting or other man-made light sources.
Types of Artificial Lights
There are four types of artificial light sources commonly used in photography. These are:
The incandescent light bulb is the traditional type of light bulb. It generates light by heating a wire filament to a temperature that causes light to be generated.
LED PHOTOGRAPHY LIGHT
LED photography lights, also known as LED light panels, are rectangular light panels that are typically mounted on stands. They have a number of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) that can be adjusted for various levels of brightness or colour temperature.
A fluorescent lamp, also known as a fluorescent tube, is a low-pressure mercury-vapour gas-discharge lamp that produces visible light through fluorescence.
Speedlights produce a bright burst of light more powerful than on-camera flash. A strobe on the other hand, is brighter than speedlights and produces an extremely bright but brief burst of light.
ADVANTAGES OF PHOTOGRAPHING WITH ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS
CONTROL OVER THE LIGHT INTENSITY
When using artificial light, the photographer has control over the intensity of the light. The photographer can shoot all day and all night as long as he has enough batteries.
CONTROL OVER THE QUALITY OF LIGHT
The photographer has the ability to control the quality of light produced by artificial light. They could make the light soft or hard at will.
CONTROL OVER THE DIRECTION OF THE LIGHT
This means you can make any kind of shadow you want. And the more control you have over the shadows, the better. As shadows are what you use for dramatic photos and moody photos.
ADVANTAGES OF PHOTOGRAPHING WITH ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS
Artificial light is very expensive to purchase, as opposed to natural light, which is free.
REQUIREMENT OF SUPPORTING GEARS
Aside from the cost of the artificial lights, the photographer must also purchase supporting equipment to enable the use of the artificial lights. These items include modifiers, light stands, umbrellas, beauty dishes, soft boxes, etc.
SET UP TIME
Artificial lights require more time to set up. The amount of time allotted for set up would be determined by the number of lights to be used for the shoot.