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Posts Tagged ‘daylight’

postheadericon Interior Light Reflections

Photographing interiors by the light through a window is easy enough, provided that you pay careful attention to the window itself, which can give exceptionally good modeling.

The most valuable quality of daylight indoors is its naturalness. Although there are some technical difficulties with light level, contrast, and the uncertainty of the color balance, the quality of light from a window is often both attractive and useful. In fact, the most commonly used form of still-life lighting is based on the effect: boxed-in area lights are designed to imitate the directional but diffuse natural lighting from a window.

The typical source of indoor natural light is a window set conventionally in a wall. Which way it faces and the view outside it control the amount and color of the daylight entering the room. Look carefully at the view out of the window to determine whether or not there is likely to be a major rise or fall in color temperature. The walls of any neighboring buildings may have a much greater effect that the sky.

If there is no direct sunlight (or if this is diffused by net curtains, for instance), then the window is the source of light. This has an important effect on the intensity, as the light, instead of being constant at any distance, falls off rapidly. This means that, if you are taking a portrait by diffused window light, how close your subject stands to the window will make a significant difference to the exposure. If you are photographing the room as a complete interior, the level across the picture may be so great that you need some remedy to reduce the contrast.

Light from the window is a distinctive mixture of being highly directional and broad, so the shadow is even, simple, and soft-edged. This combination of qualities makes diffuse window light almost unequaled for giving good modeling, and can be particularly successful for portraits and full-figure shots. This modeling effect is strongest when the window is to one side of the camera’s view; the density of the shadow, and thus the contrast, will depend very much on what happens on the other side of the room: whether there are other windows, how big the room is; and whether it is decorated brightly or not. If the shadow side of the picture is dark and you want to preserve some detail, you can add reflectors.

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postheadericon Brightening Up your Photo

One of the special challenges in altering the appearance of light digitally is to create the effect of bright, sharp sunshine, but there is software available that will help. One of the fundamental question in image editing is how far you should go – that is, how far you should move away from the original as it was shot. In principle, anything and everything can be changed; in practice, it depends what you personally feel is acceptable and on how much effort it is worth to you.

 

With daylight photography, the major hurdle is bringing sunshine into the picture. If you have ever waited for a break in the clouds to brighten up the scene, you will know that there is a demand for this – and to an extent this can be done digitally. The problem, as you can check by comparing two versions of the same view, overcast and sunny, is that direct sunlight affects everything and in many ways, down to tiny shadows and the glow reaching into shadows from sunlit surfaces.

 

Although clouds reduce brightness when they block the sun, the amount depends very much on the type of cloud. If the clouds are indistinct and spread across the sky, the light loss is on a simple scale from a light haze (as little as 1/2 a stop less than clear sunlight) through thin high stratus to dark gray, low clouds (up to 4 or 5 stops darker, and more in exceptionally bad weather). With distinct clouds, however, such as scattered fair-weather cumulus, the light levels can fluctuate rapidly, particularly on a windy day. Light, white clouds usually cause a simple fluctuation of about 2 stops as they pass in front of the sun from bright to shade in one step. Dark clouds with ragged edges, or two layers of moving clouds, cause more problems, as the light changes gradually and often unpredictably.  In the first case, two light measurements are all that is necessary – one in sunlight, the other as a cloud passes – and once this is done, you can simply change the aperture from one to the other, without taking any more readings. In the case of more complex moving clouds, constant measurement is essential, unless you wait for clear breaks and use only these.

 

UPDATED! Green Screen Wizard Full Version 7.0 offers the latest in green and BLUE screen software power and control behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. This chroma key software provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitutes their choice of digital background. Green Screen Wizard is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. Learn more now and try a free demo version!

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