Learn The Basics of Great Photography In This Complete Guide


Photography is thought of and taught as an art and application subject in all photography schools worldwide. It is the making of images that are durable by recording light through an image sensor and lenses that allow in the right amount of light to create the photograph.

Aerial view of the Adriatic seaIt is also done chemically by use of photosensitive material such as film negatives. Photography is a process which takes the following steps.

  • A lens will be pointed at the image that is to be captured and then light that is reflected or projected from the object in front of the lens will be captured inside the camera in digital form or on the film negatives.
  • The photograph can then be developed in a darkroom studio or if it was created digitally, it can be stored in the electronic form of pixels joined together to create the effect the lens captured at the first moment.

In the older traditional ways, the photographic emulsion method was employed to make the photographs from the film negatives by enlarging or by printing through contact. Photography has so many applications worldwide and has been used extensively in the fields below.

  • Science- where it is used for recording data and used to observe whatever was photographed later.
  • Design and fashion- this is the industry that relies heavily on photographs to convey their agenda. They use cameras and photos all the time for their magazines and blogs online and also marketing.
  • Advertisement- nowadays, instead of just hearing about it on the radio, you can actually see what is being advertised either online or on billboards.
  • Film industry- this is the one that has a huge demand for the photography business. They use cameras all the time.

Shooting on studio

That is just to mention a few fields because enthusiast need cameras too and they form a large percentage of the population that uses cameras. Also not to mention the fact that everyone with a Smartphone owns a camera right now. They can take photos at will anytime anywhere and share them instantly. This is huge bounds and leaps away from the pinhole camera or the extended exposure cameras where you had to stand in one position, unsmiling and unblinking until the cameraman was sure that you had been captured. Cameras have powerful lenses that take pictures from hundreds of meters away by use of telescopic lenses.


Light room

In the world of photography, there has been a need to make the photographs better and people can now take photos in studios where they have all the equipment to create a certain effect on the object being photographed. This is where the lightrooms come in. They provide lighting options and the photographer can manipulate the light to create the effect that he or the person being photographed wants. By subtly changing the light angles and intensity, they create an effect where the object appears better.

Man shooting female model in studio

The lightroom is made up of several things which include a cut off zone that is made specifically to create better light and better photos. In the lightroom, you will find continuous light and flash lights that illuminate on a very short time. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. But, when you have the correct equipment, you can make the atmosphere look better if you know what you are doing.


How to Get Started With Your Lightrooms

First of all you will need to know what is required. For example, you may not be planning for a large scale photography studio and you will need to know just how much enough equipment is. So, before you start, you will have to know that there are a lot of the fundamental things that you will need for the lightroom. Here is a small list of some of the basic ones.

  • Lights which can either be strobe, soft, focused or any other type.
  • Umbrellas and soft boxes for the even illumination of the objects
  • The tents that allow for the regulation of natural light.
  • Tripod stands for the cameras and the lights and their accompanying umbrellas and soft boxes.

white studio and the equipment

Those are just some of the most basic equipment you will need. The other thing is you will need to know their functions and how they are placed around the room for the best effects.


Top 5 Pieces of Equipment Your Lightrooms Needs

As mentioned in the how to get started on the lightroom section, you will need equipment to make the lightroom. Here are the top five pieces of equipment that you will need to have. I have not categorized them in order of which is the best in the market. I have focused on the ones you will need most when you start a lightroom.


  1. The Lights Themselves

Lights are mostly categorized into two broad categories without going into the specifics. You will have to get the best lights and for you to do that, you will need to have both the continuous and flash photography lights. For the continuous lights, you will need to have them mounted on stands pointing at the target. The light intensity can be varied depending on the light type and the kind or brand which you bought. Also, you will need to know which companies sell the best long lasting and approved brands because some types of light are almost impossible to work with. Most of these lights will include

  • Fluorescent
  • Metal discharge
  • Tungsten

These lights that run continuously are cheaper and they have the quality where what you see is what you get. Although, most photographers will tell you they are not the best because of all the accompanying equipment you need to make them run.


  1. Light Control Equipment

When you are taking photos with artificial lights, it is important that you have something to regulate the flow of light and the way it hits the target. That is why they have these to help you out with that part. These are the types you will find available for use.

  • Umbrellas– they have a shiny interior where you place the light. After doing that, it won’t come out as a straight beam but will be spread like a blanket of light with even distribution. You can even shoot light through it to make the room a bit darker.
  • Reflectors– these are made so that light is directed at them and then they direct the light to the object. They will create a soft light spread evenly.
  • Soft boxes– these are the most common and they can be used to make the light harder or soft depending on which part of them you lower or remove. You can create harder or softer light depending on what you desire for the shot.
  • Snoots– these are used to direct light in a straight beam at a specific point on the object or to create a wash over effect if directed at the top of the object pointing downwards. The light will gradually fade from the point of illumination to downwards. They are conical.
  • Barn doors– these were used and still are used in theatres. They are exactly what the name says they are. A small box where the light is put in and then regulated by a set of doors to emit lore or less light.
  • Diffusers– these are placed right in front of the light to make it softer or harder depending on what the photographer wants.

Photographic equipment


  1. Light stands

There are two main types which are in use, Lightweight stands and C-stands. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. When you go shopping, you will have to be careful not to get duped into buying a bad stand. When the equipment gets ruined, you will have bad stands to blame. Get the ones with air shock legs. They should also have a base that spreads so wide, there is no danger of toppling your equipment. This way, you can be sure that the equipment is safe and protected from unnecessary damage. When it comes to the C-stands, you can be assured that they will not disappoint. They are very heavy and are even ideal for outdoor photo shoot conditions. This will ensure that they can even hold the backgrounds for you to photograph even in windy conditions. Also, they normally don’t have air shocks absorbers.


  1. Background

These will help when you are trying to get a clear shot without any interference of natural light. You can choose plain backgrounds or ones with pictures of other places. They help set the mood and customize the picture.


  1. Photo Tent

The photo tents are used when you want maximum light being directed at every part of the object. It eliminates shadows or creates them according to your specification. They are made of fabric where light is directed into them or through into them.


The Best Mirror for a Lightrooms

When you try going into photography, you will need a mirror for two main functions:

  • Make-up- when you are doing the makeup on a person, you will need the mirror to confirm if the subject is ready for the lens.
  • Mirror effect- this is where the subject appears in the mirror and from certain angles is able to create some really interesting effects.

Girl at the mirror

So, when it comes to which is the best mirror, I will go with full length mirrors for maximum effect and efficiency. They can also be used for reflecting light onto the object for a good light effect.


Do You Need a Ring light for Makeup Tutorials

A ring light is the kind of light that is usually mounted on a circular frame and is usually placed right in front of your face but a bit behind the camera lens. The light will illuminate your face for the camera.

Smokey eyes for fashion model

This kind of light can be used but depending on the amount of natural light present. So, yes, you may use it for makeup tutorials but sometimes, it may make you look like a ghost. Sometimes, makeup looks bad in glaring light. It is all about the light. If it looks good, you can use it, if it looks bad, don’t.

NOTE: However, if you don’t know how to tell which light is good and which is not, don’t use this kind of light.


What Is the Best Light for Close-up Photography

When taking close up photographs, it is okay to use artificial light but this must be done in a way that the light is not too much. If you overdo it, you will have pictures that don’t have clearly defined edges. Close-ups are all about getting the edges right. The way to do this will be by considering the surface, its color and which light reflects off of it best. This is done by testing the different lights you will have to get the best effect. The best light is one which brings out the detail without obscuring anything.


10 Tips for Taking Better Portrait Photos

Here are the ten tips that you can consult when you want to take really good portrait photos.


  1. Lighting

Before taking a portrait photo, you should ensure that the lighting is correct. This way you can regulate the exposure of the subject and the way they appear in the photo. Lighting makes the difference between a clear and unclear photograph.


  1. Camera Angle

The camera should be placed at an angle where it is not too low or too high. When you do, this, you may create the effect of the subject being taller or shorter than they really are. If you are taking a face close-up, you will distort their facial features.

Woman in bathtub

  1. Lens

Do not place the camera where the light is flooding too much into it. Always ensure that the subject is providing the light you see in the photo. This way you will not have pictures that look like they have been washed. Also, the amount of zoom or lens distance matters. Get the right amount.


  1. Fast Shutter Speed

When you are taking portraits, you will find that the slightest movement can blur the edges of the photograph. If you want to have that one perfect shot without trying again and again, use a fast shutter speed to freeze the frames so fast nothing will ruin the picture.


  1. The Eyes

When taking the portraits, you will have to place emphasis on the eyes and if they are not as sharp as they should be, you will be looking at a photograph that is not exactly what you wanted. The eyes do speak and when they are not emphasized enough, the photograph will lack the quality of being superb.


  1. Exposure

From a certain point, the subject might look darker than the conditions dictate, in this way, you will have to make sure that the shot is not over exposed and neither is it under-exposed. When this happens, you will have a shot that is either too clear or too much in the shadows.


  1. Color Contamination

This happens when you point the lens at the person and the screen shows that the color they appear in is different from what you are seeing. By adjusting the position of the camera and the white balance, you can get the neutral light and use it to get the best portrait.


  1. Use The Flash

You can use this to even out the shadows that appear on people’s faces. Even on a sunny day, it is recommended to get the unbalanced light of the sun out of the way for a stunning photo.


  1. Talk To The Subject

You need to make the subject comfortable and mostly oblivious to the camera. They should be as natural and relaxed as possible as possible. Subtle changes in the hardness around the facial features can ruin the whole thing.


  1. Use Reflectors and Focus The camera

When you use reflectors, the model’s face will appear clearly and more sharp n the edges than when you don’t. Also, if you are using an auto-focus camera, make sure the center is aligned correctly and the corners are not blurred.

FINALLY: All you need to know about lights and photography n summary is in this article. It has been a simple journey that started with light and photos. Mix the two and you have a winner.

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