I'd like to introduce myself into photography. Lately, I've been taking special attention to some pictures on instagram and trying to recreate, not the whole scene but the lightroom, filters and options.

For example, I've noticed that a band I like use the same criteria (excuse my poor language, I'm really a newbie in this) for their shoots.



Question: What exactly do I need to do to recreate that light effect?

My thoughts: Intuitively, I think it's a dark scene and some sort of flash was shooted but when I try it for myself, it looks completely different which makes me think it could be something realted to some filters or other "criterias" as I said before.


2 Answers 2


"I'd like to introduce myself into photography" - Photography, meet Jay Jay. Jay Jay, meet photography.

Question: What exactly do I need to do to recreate that light effect?

There is an expression in English that says. "You are putting the cart before the horse". (The horse must pull the cart, not the other way around.)

Meaning You should study and learn as much as you can before you start trying to do things you have no knowledge of. You need a knowledge base to work from.

You need to have an understanding of Photography, cameras, light, software editing.

Light and how it is captured by cameras. The human eye is much better at seeing light than cameras and knowing how cameras capture light will help you to take better photos and USE light to create images.

Cameras, How they work and why the settings do what they do.

Software and post production editing. Digital photography has a world of editing options that where not available with film photography. There are dozens of different software makers and thousands of editing option with each software. This takes much time and effort to learn and a solid understanding of photography and light is needed to understand how to use it effectively and or creatively.

All that is to say that i would suggest you take some classes and do some some learning about light, how the camera see's it, how to use it AND the software of your choice for doing editing. then you can better understand how to achieve a particular look you like, or at least get you close and ask pertinent questions to help you.

We can not give you a broad tutorial on editing but we can answer specific question about how a tool in that software works and what is used for.

To your question, What exactly do I need to do to recreate that light effect? It not just a light effect. It was light in a real life scene, be it the sun or flash or strobe's or combination or some or all. Manipulating it in post may be called an effect but the light had its own characteristics before it was captured by a camera.

and trying to recreate, not the whole scene but the lightroom, filters and options.

You can not just recreate the light of that scene by filters and options alone. If the the light in your scene is completely different the that of the original than it is not going to look the same and software is not how to approach the problem of making it look the same.

In order to try and "recreate" a look or scene you need to have a knowledge base to inform you decisions.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a very good answer and the first paragraph made me laugh :) \$\endgroup\$
    – jng224
    Jul 27, 2020 at 19:29
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Jonas I would add that in the images you gave as an example, there is always white light in the middle. You could buy a white light and shine it there to achieve that effect. The shutter speed would have to be something like 1/400, and aperture should be wide open(for a wider depth of field). \$\endgroup\$
    – 10 Rep
    Jul 27, 2020 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @10Rep 1/400 with what appears to be an on-camera flash? That's above most camera's flash sync speed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 28, 2020 at 11:58

As others have said, photography is a complex subject, and it takes a lot of study to get to the point where you can look at a picture, figure out how it was lit/taken, and reproduce it.

First you need to learn the fundamentals of photography: Exposure, depth of field, white balance, etc.

Once you have the basics, I would suggest buying a book called "Light, Science and Magic." It will teach you how to look at light and use it to get the effects you are after.

There are very real limits to what you can do with filters. I seriously doubt if the lighting in either of the pictures you linked was modified in post processing. They both look pretty simple.

When analyzing a photo, the shadows and the highlights provide a lot of information that you can use to figure out the photo. Are the shadows sharp-edged? If so, it's a small light source like a bare flash or the sun. If the shadows are soft-edged, the light source is probably a larger light source like a softbox, a cloudy sky, or an east-facing window. Does the light fall off rapidly from front to back? If so, the light source is probably close to the subject.

Highlights in shiny objects can also give strong clues as to how the picture was lit. If there is enough detail in a human or animal's eye, you can figure out a lot from the size and placement of highlights.

In the first picture of the people high-fiving, the shadows are strong and almost directly behind the subjects. The center of the image is brightly lit and the light falls off on the edges of the frame. I'm betting this was shot with an on-camera flash, perhaps with a diffuser of some kind on it. This looks like a grab shot.

The shadows in the second shot are also quite sharp and close to the subject. They extend to the left of the subject and below. I'm again guessing an on-camera flash, but with the camera tilted to the right for a landscape image. It looks like there is a fair amount of ceiling bounce from the flash, or maybe it's a mixture of flash and ambient light. (There are softer shadows under the subjects, suggesting a second, more diffuse light-source from above.)


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