It's all about the light

June 07, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

A lot of different things go into a great image. That said, no matter how great your equipment, subject, composition, etc., if the lighting is bad it can suck the life right out of the image. Yes, we can digitally process an image which may salvage or improve an image, but if you can search out or create that special lighting before you press the shutter all the better. Personally, I don't have the skill set or have the desire to spend days behind the computer monitor attempting to salvage an image. Yes, I can do some amazing things using Nik software, but I spend only approximately 5-10 minutes per image.

Back to lighting. Last month there was a Tamron macro lens advertisement in several of my photo magazines that really caught my eye. Actually it was the lighting that caught my eye. It was an image of a red-eyed tree frog sitting on a leave. Light was shining up through the leaf with a hint of light from above; both of which illuminated the frog beautifully. As colorful as the frog was in the image, it was the lighting that really made the image stand out from all other red-eyed frog images I have seen over the years. I liked it so much I cut the image out and put it aside thinking that one day I might attempt something similar. Several weeks later a Cuban tree frog made residence in my pool's screened enclosure. Not at all colorful like the red-eyed tree frog, I thought the Cuban tree frog would make a nice subject to experiment with. Initially I tried using small macro flashes attached to several different brackets, but I wasn't able to produce the lighting effects I had envisioned. My best results were produced using an LED video light illuminating the leaf from underneath and a small macro flash providing a little fill light from the top. Not as colorful as the red-eyed tree frog, but I was pleased with the lighting results.





Cuban Tree Frog


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