Questions tagged [light]

The word photography means "drawing with light". Controlling or selecting the light a camera records is essential to all aspects of photographic composition.

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19 votes
3 answers
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Can you photograph the milky way with a full moon out?

Is it possible to photograph the milky way (or just any stars or stellar objects) when a full moon is out?
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13 votes
5 answers
4k views

How can I depict vehicle traffic during daytime in a long exposure without washing out the vehicles?

I would like to take a picture of a street during the day to depict how much traffic and cars there are on the street. Is there anyway to do this with a long exposure photograph? I have a Nikon D90 ...
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58 votes
8 answers
40k views

Why do light sources appear as stars sometimes?

See for example this photo: From my experience, the longer the exposure the stronger can this effect be observed. Is this correct? Are there any other factors that influence the creation of these ...
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9 votes
12 answers
46k views

How do you avoid a dim portrait with a bright background and no external flash?

I took a picture once in a beautiful location with an awesome background, and a cool location to get the shot. The problem is, the location of the subject had substantially less light then the ...
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18 votes
2 answers
16k views

What is the difference between luminance and illuminance?

The more I read about this, the more confused I become. Illuminance, as I understand it, measured in lux, is the perceived brightness of light on a surface. It's what you'd measure with an incident ...
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5 votes
3 answers
8k views

How to edit photos shot in fluorescent light

I recently shot a series of pictures (portraits and group shots) in a room with bad (fluorescent) light. I had no possibility of changing that lighting situation. Now back at home and in Lightroom I ...
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16 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why does the flash freeze a picture?

Why does a flash freeze a picture even if I use a shutter speed like 1/10 sec? I don't understand it, because the light will hit the sensor the whole time, not just when the flash is fired.
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  • 397
16 votes
3 answers
4k views

If I want to shoot darker shots, is it better to increase the lighting and then darken in post to retain clarity?

I'm just getting started - in my last shoot, I was using a 6D with a 50mm/1.4. In low light, the pictures looked fantastic on the viewfinder but on the computer screen, appeared extremely grainy. For ...
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7 votes
6 answers
7k views

Do full frame sensors gather more light than crop sensors?

Lots of people say that full frame sensors receive more light than cropped sensors. I have never found a proof of this claim so I tried to do the computation by myself, and proved the contrary! Could ...
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  • 398
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is Colour Rendering Index (CRI)?

From this answer on white balancing a LED light I understood there's a thing called Colour Rendering Index (CRI). I understand it has something to do with how well lights reproduce the sun's colour ...
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24 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why is infrared light's focus point different from that of visible light?

When reading about infrared photography, it's often mentioned that IR's focus point is slightly different from visible light. Why is the focus point of infrared light point different from the focus ...
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5 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why hasn't buying powerful lights improved my lightbox images?

I posted a question a few months ago regarding a light-box setup, and it seemed the general consensus was that I didn't have enough light... I've gone ahead and purchased 2 x 55w 3000lm 5500K 90+CRI ...
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23 votes
9 answers
20k views

What's different about photographing at sunrise vs. sunset?

I usually get better light at sunrise (compared to sunset). I do though hate to wake up early in the morning to use that light ;) What are the biggest differences between sunrise and sunset?
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7 votes
6 answers
7k views

Why in a photo light lines of street lamps? How to remove them?

Shutter speed - 32 sec. Aperture - f/9 ISO - 100 Lens - EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Focal Length - 39 mm I have took the photo through the window, with the lights off
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  • 181
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do lenses with the same f-stop but different focal length gather the same amount of light? [duplicate]

I'm taking images of a light source in a scientific labratory, and I thought I had a good grasp on all these things, but now i'm second guessing myself after some results. The most important thing is ...
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why do my photos "glow"?

I have a Canon 60D and recently bought a Canon zoom lens EF 24-70mm 2,8L USM. Bright colours seem to "glow" or are blurry when I take photos. It does not seem to be blurred because of movement or ...
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22 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why do two lenses with the same F-number give different amount of light?

Why do the following two lenses provide different amount of light? In both images we have fixed focusing distance, distance to the object, ISO, shutter speed and F-number.
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21 votes
7 answers
4k views

How can one deal with midday light in street photography?

Firstly, of course, photography is all about light, but for doco/street style photography (which is what I like), it's really about being in the right place at the right time. However, I've been ...
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12 votes
2 answers
665 views

How can I intentionally include lens flare in my photographs?

I usually try to avoid lens flare, usually by avoiding shooting directly into bright lights (or using other techniques to minimize it). However, sometimes I find a situation where lens flare actually ...
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9 votes
2 answers
13k views

What are the 5 basic lighting setups used in studio portrait photography?

In this great answer, the person explains “one of the 5 basic lighting setups used in studio portrait photography”—Rembrandt lighting. What are the other four? Where should they be used? What are ...
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8 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why are sensors less sensitive to blue light?

This is a followup question to Why is the blue channel the noisiest?. The simple answer to that question is that sensors are less sensitive to blue, and therefore require more amplification, which ...
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6 votes
1 answer
442 views

Can videoing burning magnesium damage a camera sensor?

I have possibly had the misfortune of videoing a bright performance of burning magnesium at night before I realized what it was. I probably filmed it for 10-15 seconds and now I am wondering if it ...
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6 votes
5 answers
4k views

Does adding additional strobes cumulatively add to the flash power?

I've been reading articles that talk about using multiple strobes next to each other, all pointing in the same direction: as a means to add more light over what one flash can do. Does the addition of ...
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9 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is the color of the AF assist light important?

What are the differences between white and this darkroom red/orange active autofocus assistance lights?
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  • 561
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why are these light trails large blobs of light instead of nice thin lines?

I'm trying to shoot a traffic light trails with my point & shoot camera (Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8). But the oncoming vehicle headlights are appearing as large blobs of light and not exactly thin ...
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4 votes
2 answers
13k views

How does lens-hoods for pancake lenses work? (Canon EF 40mm with ES-52)

Normally I use lens-hoods on every of my glasses (flairlight blocker, lens protection). Some days ago a bought the Canon EF 40mm STM (Pancake-Lens). So I look for the fitting lens-hood and found the ...
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  • 963
3 votes
4 answers
782 views

Why does the camera output an image with multi-colors not shown by the naked eye under the projector?

I was shooting in a gallery that used what appears to be a multi-colored projector and had difficulty shooting in that type of scene as the color was not even across the scene. The image shown below ...
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72 votes
7 answers
9k views

What am I photographing INSIDE my camera?

I've been experimenting with low light photography. I've photographed something weird inside my camera and don't really know what it is. This is the image initially taken... Seems inoccuious enough....
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  • 1,012
16 votes
4 answers
19k views

How can I improve my photographs taken on overcast or cloudy days?

I'm interested in filters, flash & lighting options, composition, and post processing. Is it possible to get really vibrant colors or should I give up on that and focus on dreary, muted, or black ...
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8 votes
7 answers
4k views

Is there a fundamental difference between emitted light and reflected light?

In the context of practical implications for photography, is there a general difference in the qualities of emitted vs. reflected light (other than emitted light being brighter in many situations)? I ...
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  • 475
6 votes
4 answers
12k views

How do I create this soft bright look?

This is probably my favorite look in child portraits. I want to achieve this bright, yet color popping look in my photos. Is there specific lighting, like overexposing? Or is it post processing? Here ...
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I take a photo of a dark bar with a bright sign?

I took an image of a dark bar with a bright sign at night using auto mode: ISO 1250 | 1/60s | f/2 What I actually wanted is to be able to read the sign in the background. On this image it is ...
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to engage in photography without a camera?

My digital camera has bit the dust. Now I wonder how to take pictures without a camera. Photography is an art of making images from the light field present at some particular location at some ...
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  • 835
8 votes
4 answers
6k views

Is there any practical way to measure the T-stop of a lens?

T-stop measures actual light transmission in a lens. Therefore, different f/2.8 lenses can have different T-stops. T-stops are usually only given for cine lenses. For photography lenses, is there any ...
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  • 2,521
7 votes
1 answer
399 views

What should I consider when designing my physical environment for photo editing?

I am in the process of building a controlled environment in which to edit photos. Other questions have addressed the gamut, the monitor and color calibration, but for the most accurate display of ...
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6 votes
5 answers
8k views

Does Earth's latitude affect the color of light?

I was talking with a friend about what conditions can affect color, gamma and white balance, and how to get in order these variables into the configuration to set up and get a good shot. Beside the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
6k views

How to relate LED Lumens to Lux at a given distance?

I'm trying to design an LED light, but I'm not sure how many LED's I need for a given light level. Specifically, the Luxeon LXR7-RW57 1000 lumen white LED (data sheet) Q: How many lux should I see ...
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  • 449
3 votes
1 answer
861 views

How to shoot light trail photos with iPhone?

I would wonder if someone can tell me how to shoot (take / capture) a light trails photo with an iPhone? If someone don't know what's that, here's the the one which googled find for me, Is it ...
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  • 133
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

How do I know how much light will be needed for a given film speed, shutter speed, and aperture?

For a given film type, shutter speed and aperture, how do I calculate the light needed to get a good exposure? For example, if I use a f/8 aperture, an exposure time of 100 ms and a ISO 800-film (...
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9 votes
5 answers
669 views

How to identify whether the available light is too harsh or too soft?

When I go out in a park what factors should I consider to determine whether the present light is too harsh or too soft?
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

How do I adjust colour casts between photos taken at different times?

I have several photos of similar subjects on the same background. As they were taken outside at different times, the lighting conditions are different, and so the colours in the photos aren't ...
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  • 215
7 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is "north light", and how can I use it in my photographs?

I've heard that some painters favored "north light". I suppose that this is light coming from the north, but what is so special about it? If I live somewhere where the literal north light is blocked ...
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  • 140k
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do I compare the output of an LED panel with that of a flash?

How do I compare the output of an LED panel with that of a conventional hotshoe flash? I haven't been paying attention to the LED panels, but they've been on the market long enough so that I'm ...
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  • 3,740
5 votes
3 answers
303 views

How can I photograph bright lights properly?

I built a toy light saber, and I'd really like to get a good picture of it. This is what it looks like when I try to take a picture: The blade is not actually that color. With my own eyes, it looks ...
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  • 153
5 votes
5 answers
23k views

What non-studio lights are best for photography?

I don't have a studio, nor I want studio lights. I am interested in knowing which "kinds" of light "bulbs" should I purchase for my "table lamp" for indoor photography? Are there some particular "...
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to get beautiful even and soft lighting on face?

How do I get bright even and soft light on a face like this? Image taken from this link I got the exact same equipment but I wasn't able to reproduce the result. First I tried lighting it from ...
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  • 3,188
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can using an incident light meter improve my outdoor portraits?

Never used one, but from the theories around it that I read on the internet, I was wondering whether a light meter that can measure incident light is useful for outdoor shots? Or is this tool mostly ...
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3 votes
4 answers
1k views

How to create a gray/black color background in a photograph

These are two examples of photographs with black background. My question is how can I set the background like that? Was it through post-processing or on shoot? by Saul Leiter And this by Hélène ...
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  • 1,442
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can I use a beam splitter to record two images using the same lens?

How's the best way to record two images coming through a single lens. One being a infrared and the other being visible. My plan was to use a beam splitter between the lens and the sensor to reflect ...
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  • 33
3 votes
4 answers
1k views

How to create still life silhouettes with candle lights?

I have Nikon D3100, the 50mm prime lens, and the 60mm macro. I only have candle lights and tube lights (on walls) as light sources in my house. I wish to create silhouettes of still life objects with ...
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