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Real world scenarios & solutions to take too many pictures

The post Real-World Scenarios & solutions to deal with too much light in photography appeared first at Digital Photography School. It is written by Erin Fitzgibbon.

Natural light is beautiful light

If you love natural light when taking photos, then you are like me – you love light. You like how it streams in windows and how it creates shadows. There is so much wonder in the way that light falls naturally into place. In many situations it is amazing to let nature take its course and create a beautiful view.

However, the reality is that we can always go with the flow, sometimes Mother Nature does not cooperate with the requirements of human life. There are times when Mother Nature gives you far too much light.

So the question becomes "How do I deal with all this light?"

Let's look at some realistic scenarios and discuss solutions to deal with too much light in photography.

Scenario # 1: intense light that shines through a window

As someone who often photographs photos of the interior for a magazine, I come across this situation all the time. I arrive at a house to find large beautiful windows that cast a wonderfully soft light on a part of the room and a bright glare in areas close to the window. We usually use HDR to solve this problem. However, there are times when you cannot place a tripod because the space does not allow this kind of luxury.

In the situation below, the restaurant had great, huge windows. It let a lot of light into the room – ideal for those who were dining. The situation was not great for photographing clear, detailed images. If you look at the photo below, taken during a family event, you can see how clear windows can affect your images in a more personal situation.

dealing with too much light in photography - shows shadows

The large windows behind the screen are blown out somewhat, but not terribly so. The problem is the light on the cake and other items are very boring.

In this scenario, the bright light from the large windows behind the screen removes the cake and the plate. The character is in shadow when you expose the photo to reduce the brightness of the background. If you expose in front of the board, the light behind it becomes very distracting and it detracts from the appearance of the photo.

dealing with too much light in photography - overexposure

The use of a different combination of settings and the light on the cake and the sign is much better, but this image is still not great.

The final composition

In this case, the solution was to use the items that were photographed to block some of the light from behind. I changed the angle from which I was shooting and tried to fill the frame with the items from the display table. Now the photo is displayed correctly and has a more attractive memory of a family moment.

dealing with too much light in photography - composition

I changed the angle to block the brighter lights outside, creating an even light situation. If I have finished this image, it will be very nice to document the day.

Scenario 2: Bright afternoon sun and you cannot put people in the shade

On family outings or special occasions, it can be difficult to get people moving. You have to deal with the shadows and squinting eyes that the intense summer sun creates. And what if you don't have a flash?

Last summer I took photos and wrote an article about building birch bark canoes using traditional indigenous methods. I could not ask the Elder working on the canoe to move his entire operation to a place so that I can take nicer pictures of him. He worked, and he wouldn't move everything for me.

Adjustment to a situation is important

As you can see in the photo below, the sun was pretty bright and I had no flash. He was wearing a white shirt and his skin is darker, so there is a challenge in exposing this type of dynamic range. The color photo is relatively flat. It does not have the kind of depth, or appearance that I like for my images.

From an art standpoint, this image would never work. From a journalistic point of view, they are less picky about these types of problems, but there must be a balance. The editor of the article, however, agreed that the bright light has taken away the photo. Our solution was to finish with black and white. The advantage of black and white is that you can hide faded colors and reduce the effect of blown whites. It is an option to consider when working in such difficult lighting conditions.

dealing with too much light in photography

Here is the raw photo. I have done my best to balance the lighting for bright light and harsh shadows.

dealing with too much light in photography - to show extreme light

In black and white I was able to control and process the image a bit more to display items such as the power in the elder's arms.

Scenario # 3: intense light spots

In some situations the light is just right in parts of a scene, but in others it is just too bright. It creates looks and reflections that you do not want in your photos.

In this situation you can use HDR again. There are a few other options to consider. Consider using a flash to fill in shadows that are created when you balance the exposure. In the situation below, a flash and a diffuser were used to create more uniform lighting. The hanging lights are still clear, but unfortunately nothing could be done about it. The only way to minimize their distraction was to have the woman active. The viewer will notice that the woman is pouring the wine, and it helps to keep them focused on something other than the bright lights in the scene.

In some cases you may have to accept defeat when it comes to light. However, you can take steps to minimize the influence of the lights on your photo.

dealing with too much light in photography - using a flash for lighting

By adding a flash, I was able to reduce the shadows on her face.

Conclusion

Light is both a blessing and a challenge when you take photos. Sometimes you have to think quickly. You will need to find ways to solve problems and manage the lighting effectively. There are many ways to take photos, even in the most difficult situations, so try to think carefully about the scene before you. Try to be creative when managing challenging situations.

In any case, share the most difficult lighting situations and how you could deal with too much light in photography in the comments below.

dealing with too much light in photography

The post Real-World Scenarios & solutions to deal with too much light in photography appeared first at Digital Photography School. It is written by Erin Fitzgibbon.

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