The popularity of photography has grown exponentially in recent years. One of the primary reasons for this increased interest is the accessibility of quality cameras. Whether a photographer is using the top of the line Canon or the built-in camera on the latest iPhone, lighting is extremely important to the creation of great photos. Various lighting techniques can be used to take exceptional photographs.

There are different types of light that can be used when taking pictures. In many cases, natural light is utilized but in many instances sunlight is unavailable. On these occasions, simple photography lights can be used instead. These lights typically have umbrellas or shadow boxes covering the light bulb. The placement of a light source is an essential component in properly utilizing light to create great photos. The most common ways to position light sources are front lighting, side lighting, and backlighting.

Front Lighting. Placing a photography light in front of the subject is a perfect way to get a clean and detailed shot. If only one light source is available the front lighting position is the one that is most useful. Front lighting eliminates shadows and by doing so creates a clean, sharp photograph without much effort.

Side Lighting. The purpose of positioning the light on the side of a subject when taking photographs is to make the photograph more dimensional. While front lighting is ideal, it can also create a one-dimensional photo. Side lighting adds dimensionality back to the photo. The key to side lighting is to be cognizant of where the shadows are falling and choose a position that is consistent with capturing the desired image.

Backlighting. Once front lighting and side lighting have been mastered, backlighting can also be incorporated. Positioning a backlight appropriately can be challenging and requires a great deal of practice. The purpose of backlighting is to create a glow or to make the subject appear more prominently in the photo.

Indeed, photography can be a fun and exciting hobby. Capturing important moments through pictures is a time-honored tradition that preserves precious memories. Mastering the techniques of front lighting, side lighting and backlighting can greatly improve the quality of a photo. Utilizing the correct lighting to capture subjects is a necessary component of becoming a good photographer.