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Lighting for digital photography explained

Photography is the art of capturing light and shadow. A photograph is essentially a record of the light conditions at a certain point in time and location. That is why illumination is so vital in this situation. You may have a high-end digital camera and yet get bad shots if you don't know the secrets of optimum lighting. We will go through lighting for digital photography in this post and you can learn about the following aspects.

Use COLBOR CL220 LED constant light for portrait photography

Digital photography lighting basics: Understand highlight and shadow

In any image, the way the light falls on the subject will result in highlights (bright regions) and shadows (dark areas). Contrast, which is produced by the highlights and shadows, may serve to make the image more fascinating but can also lead to troubles as well. For instance, you generally don't want your subject's face to be obscured by shadows or blinded by intense light if you're taking a picture. Typically, you want a good mix of highlights and shadows to make your subject's characteristics stand out.

Studio lighting for digital photography: Three types to use

When you take up digital photography in studios, there are continuous lights, Flashgun, and strobes for you to choose from.

Continuous Lighting

These kinds of studio lights operate exactly like a typical home lamp: when the switch is turned on, the light turns on. And it remains on unless you turn off the switch. There are usually three types used in digital photography, including LED, fluorescent, and tungsten.

LED lighting for digital photography

LED studio lights are popular in digital photography. They don’t produce much heat and are reasonably priced.

On the plus side, most LED lights have color-changing capabilities, making them quite versatile for adding creative effects, matching the white balance when coupled with other light sources, or creating various ambiances.

You can buy single LED constant light for photography, LED lighting kits and even LED sticks for digital photography.

Fluorescent light

Fluorescent bulbs come in a variety of colors, including white, green, yellow, and red. They are a common option since they are energy-efficient and don't overheat.

This lighting for digital photography is usually in portrait and product photography. You may purchase socket stands with many sockets to illuminate larger spaces.

Tungsten Light

These bulbs emit a warm yellow light, which we associate with interior lighting. The majority of household lights employ this sort of light or a tungsten-halogen mix, which is more energy-efficient.

Tungsten is commonly used in photographic studios, albeit it can overheat. Tungsten lamps have a color temperature of around 3200K, so make sure you change the white balance settings on your camera.


A studio strobe, often known as a monobloc or monolight, is a specialized flash unit. Strobes are typically powered by cables, while more battery-powered options are being introduced to the market. Power output varies widely between models; cheaper strobes have roughly the same power as inexpensive third-party flashguns, whilst class-leading strobes are among the most powerful lights on the market. As a result, strobes are the most commonly utilized studio light for portrait photography by pros.


Flashgun is a small light that is attached to the top of your camera. It is extremely portable, and some have rather high power outputs. Although the adaptability of flashguns is limited by size and power output, they are nevertheless a very valuable tool for any photographer interested in off-camera illumination. They are also less costly than studio strobes.

Three Digital photography lighting techniques

Front, side, and back lighting and three commonly used lighting techniques in digital photography. And you can get these illuminations by changing the digital photography lighting positioning.

Front lighting, i.e., the light is directly in front of the subject, can bring out more details. Why? There are no shadows to hide any details in the photograph because the light is shining directly in front and casting shadows that fall behind the subject. This is the easiest to shoot, although it can occasionally appear bland or uninteresting.

Side lighting, or positioning the light source or subject so that the lighting for digital photography strikes from the side, combats the monotony of front lighting by adding shadows and depth. It is still quite easy to photograph; you just have to be attentive and watch how the shadows fall. Side lighting does not have to be at a 90-degree angle, and even slight changes can affect how shadows fall. When you use side lighting in digital photography, see where the shadows fall – slight changes in the position of the subject might lead to more intriguing or appealing shadows.

Back lighting is the most difficult to master. Back lighting is the most difficult to master. You'll end up with a silhouette if you don't use a light modifier or grasp manual mode. Backlighting conditions are best avoided by novices. However, once you're familiar with manual mode, it may provide stunning results. Many items appear to glow when backlit.

Digital photography lighting tips for indoor shots

Professional digital photographers usually invest in lighting equipment to create the aforementioned front, side, and back lighting or a 3-point setup for appealing photos. If you are just starting out and don’t have these tools, you can also capture good indoor photos. Here are some tips that you can follow to get lighting for digital photography properly:

  • Avoid placing your subject in front of a bright window. This might make the backdrop appear overly bright, making the subject appear too dark. Move the subject or the camera so that the sunlight hits it from the side or at a 45-degree angle.
  • Try shutting off the ceiling lights and replacing them with one or two lamps. If you have two lamps, place one on either side of the subject to serve as the key and fill light. Remember that your camera's shutter speed and aperture may be adjusted to let in more light, so the image won't be too dark.
  • Make use of a tripod. A tripod will assist prevent fuzzy images if the lighting isn't optimum.
  • Use the Party/indoor scene mode. This mode is intended for use in low-light conditions.
  • Move your subject away from the wall if you must use the flash. This will aid in the reduction of dark shadows behind your subject.
  • Experiment. The nice thing about digital cameras is that you can examine and edit photos immediately after taking them. Try shooting the shot again with varied lighting and seeing which version looks the best.