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Natural Light Vs Artificial Light For Photography

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Light is a basic ingredient of photography. Images are produced by beams of light that bounce off an object at different angles and frequency. In photography, natural and artificial lights have many different characteristics. Natural light is generated naturally by the Sun, even at night during a full moon. Sunlight covers a very wide spectrum, which consists of both visible and invisible lights. Artificial light is produced by electrically-powered light sources, like LEDs and compact fluorescent lamps.

Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some things you should understand about natural and artificial lights:

Natural Light

     Natural light is abundant and free. During the daytime, it’s easy to get natural light. You need only minimum investment to take advantage of natural light. Often, all you need is the camera and to ask people to face the sun. It’s possible to partially control sunlight with diffusers and reflectors to redirect and diffuse harsh sunlight. Photographers can experiment with natural light and learn how to take full advantage of it.

     Although natural light is free and abundant, it is still a challenge to use. Sun is an uncontrollable light source. Natural light changes depending on the time of the day, weather, season, and location. Available natural light may produce contrast and colours that are unsuitable for your photography requirements. Midday sunlight can have extremely high contrast and intense white colour. Sunrise and sunset are often considered as the golden hours of photography because you will get medium contrast and very warm colours.

Artificial Light

     If you want to have more control of your photography results, artificial light can be more suitable. Artificial light is more dependable and available throughout the day. With high quality artificial light sources, it’s possible to replicate sunlight or moonlight. Careful adjustments allow you to create pictures with good contrast and light intensity. Despite these advantages, artificial light can be expensive and complicated to adjust. Professional-grade artificial light sources may have tricky settings, while simple light sources are far less adjustable and may not be suitable for your requirements. Professional photographers often need multiple sources of artificial light to get balanced results. It will take a dedicated space to set up everything and it can be challenging for new photographers to use artificial lights.

     Whether you use natural or artificial light, it comes down to your skill, experience, location, budget, and personal preferences as a photographer. Natural light is easier to use from the beginning and artificial lighting is much more controllable.

Contact Elliot James Photography

     To learn more about using natural light vs artificial light for photography, contact Elliot James Photography and speak with a photography expert today about your specific needs.

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