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Topic 1

*How to Make a Bright and White Background

To make a bright and white background Known as high key photography you need to know some essential tips. Here are:

4 Tips to make Perfect White Background in Studio Photography:

1– Use a Pure White Background

I use a big, white piece of paper as the background in my studio. You don’t need to use an expensive camera or lens for this type of picture, because you can use any camera for high key photography.

2– Use two flashes on the background

A white background without light doesn’t appear white in the photo, it appears ugly and grey background.

To create a bright and white background for wedding, family, birthday or others more than one people or with decoration photography, you need to completely overexpose your background from two sides without overexposing your subject. That means you’ll need much more light on your background than on your foreground subject.

 

3-Use one off camera flash for portrait photography

Another easy way to create a bright background for portrait photography is to light it with an off camera flash. Simply move your model four to six feet away from your background and hide a flash behind your model, pointing it at the background. When you take your photo, the flash will light the background and make it appear completely white.

An off camera flash doesn’t have to be expensive.

4– Don’t overexpose the background more than enough

You can overexpose a high key background too much. If you bounce too much light off your background, the back lighting will overtake your model and wash out your picture.

To get a perfectly white background without washing out your picture, start your background light at its lowest power and increase it one stop at a time until the background is white enough and not washing out the subject.

Summary

High key photography is challenging because it requires you to create an intentionally overexposed background while still properly exposing your subject. Once you learn how to use exposure compensation and light your background, you’ll be able to create perfect white backgrounds in just a few minutes.

High Key = Bright (high amounts of light)

Topic 2

*How to Make a Black Background in Studio Photography

 

To make a dark and black background in studio photography you need to know some essential tips. Here are:

3 Tips to make Perfect Black Background in Studio Photography:

1- Use a black backdrop

The first step to have a black background is to use a black backdrop. This is the easiest way to have a successful dark background. Do not light the background.

If your background shines and is not black, don’t worry, this can be adjusted in post-processing.

2- Light the subject, not the background

Keep your subject forward, the less light that hits the background, the darker it will be. If you can get the subject lit more brightly than the background, that will push the background into the underexposed, dark areas, outside the camera’s more limited dynamic range.

 

3- Correct camera settings

 

Individual camera settings will depend on you as a photographer, this is under your control. Because You don’t want to be taking too much light with your camera, so:

1- Turn your camera to manual mode.

2- Set faster shutter speed, 1/160 or faster.

3- Adjust your aperture to smallest number until the picture is completely black. This will usually be f/10 and smallest. You can adjust the aperture until the brightness on the model looks right.

4- Adjust your ISO as low as it can go (usually ISO 100).

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Low Key and Black Background Photography

We can consider the style and the way of black background and Low Key Photography the same thing, the only thing is:

- Low key photography is always in black background, but

- Black background photography can be low key or not.

What is Low Key Photography?

Low key refers to a style of photography that uses mainly dark tones to create a dramatic looking picture. Low key lighting increases the contrast in an image through extremely reduced lighting.

The low key technique uses a lot of darker tones, shadows and blacks. Photos taken in low key lighting have very minimal amounts of mid-tones and whites.

Low Key Photography Lighting Tips:

For low key photography in studio you need to use just one source of light for subject. For background, avoid using any bright or whites or any light. Use deep black or something with a similar kind of darkness.

 

Because very little will be visible in a low key image, it is important to carefully decide where you want the light to fall; this also means you have to control where the light doesn’t fall.

In order to obtain high contrast in your low key images, side lighting your subject will work much more effectively than lighting from front side. There is no correct side to shoot from, this is up to you as the photographer to choose which side of your subject you want to keep dark, or which side you decide works more effectively. Put the light as close as possible to the subject.

Our main goal is to highlight a specific area in the image. This can be done by right positioning your subject and light, so that your shadows fall in the right place; this will ensure you obtain that dramatic, dark and hard-hitting image that you are looking for.

 

 

Summary

Low key photography is challenging because it requires you to create an intentionally deep dark background while still properly exposing your subject. Once you learn how to use exposure compensation, you’ll be able to create perfect deep dark backgrounds and well exposed subject in just a few minutes.

 

Low Key = Dark (low amounts of light)

Topic 3

*Shutter Speed in Digital Photography

 

Three main areas that you can manually adjust and determine the exposure of your shots are: Shutter speed, Aperture and ISO. In this post we explain about shutter speed and in next posts we will explain about Aperture and ISO.

What is shutter speed and what does it do

Most basically defined: Shutter speed is the amount of time that you give the shutter to be open and your image sensor sees the scene that you want to capture.

  • Shutter speed is measured in seconds – or in most cases fractions of seconds. The bigger the denominator the faster the speed (1/1500 is much faster than 1/60) anything slower than 1/60th of a second causes camera shake. Camera shake is when your camera is moving while the shutter is open and results in blur in your photos. 

  • If you’re using a slow shutter speed (anything slower than 1/60) you will need to use something to avoid camera shake, a tripod as an example. 

  • Shutter speeds available on your camera will approximately double with each setting. As a result you will usually have the options for the following shutter speeds: 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8 etc. 

  • When thinking the use of shutter speed in an image, we should ask our self whether anything in our scene is moving or not and how we’d like to capture that movement. If there is a movement in our scene we have the choice of either freezing the movement (so it looks still) or letting the moving object intentionally blur (giving it a sense of movement).

  • To freeze a movement in an image (for example somebody is running) you should choose a faster shutter speed and to let the movement blur you should choose a slower shutter speed. The actual speeds you should choose will vary depending upon the speed of the subject in your shot and how much you want it to be blurred.

In the photo below to freeze the movement, I chose 1/2500 of shutter speed when she was jumping :  

There are times when motion is good. For example when you’re taking a photo of a waterfall or seascape and want to show how fast the water is flowing or when you’re taking a shot of a racing car and want to give it a feeling of speed, or when you’re taking a shot of a starscape and want to show how the stars move over a longer period of time. In all of these instances choosing a longer shutter speed will be the way to go. However in all of these cases you need to use a tripod or you’ll run the risk of ruining the shots by adding camera movement (a different type of blur than motion blur).

Focal Length and Shutter Speed: Another thing to consider when choosing shutter speed is the focal length of the lens you’re using. When we choose longer focal lengths, we will need to choose a faster shutter speed. Longer focal length will accentuate the amount of camera shake, unless you have image stabilization in your lens or camera.

If you want to shoot with the focal length of 70mm, at least 1/80th is good, but if you shoot with  200mm lens you will need at least 1/250th shutter speed.

Remember if you change shutter speed you’ll need to change Aperture or ISO to compensate for it.

If you speed up your shutter speed one stop (for example from 1/80th to 1/100th) you’re effectively letting half as much light into your camera. To compensate for this you’ll probably need to increase your aperture one stop (for example from F16 to F14). Also you may need to choose a one stop higher ISO rating (for example from ISO 250 to ISO 320.