March 31, 2015 14:46

Whether you’re a pro or just enjoy taking the occasional snap, you’re probably aware of how important lighting is in photography. Many photographers may go as far as to argue that paying more attention to light is the most single important step to take in improving your photography.

Not only is sufficient light needed to gain high-quality pictures, but the right lighting is essential to capture the correct narrative for your image.

Every picture tells a story, and with the huge impact that lighting can have, it’s a factor that more and more CoinaPhoto users have been taking into consideration.

The exact same landscape can look completely different dependent upon light exposure. Take a peaceful woodland for example. In the light of day, the woodland is tranquil – a place where precious woodland animals explore their delightful habitat, or the perfect picnic location surrounded by singing birds and delicate flowers. However, when partially illuminated, the enchanted woodland disappears to reveal a more sinister environment, where unknown things lurk in the dark, and eerily lit trees loom above you, sending shivers up your spine and awakening the hairs on your neck.

Light can also be an excellent technique to express emotion. Harsh shadows and hard light that create powerful contrasts may be used to convey a challenging story, whereas deep oranges and vibrant yellows create a warm, ethereal mood.

CoinaPhoto has seen more and more users latching on to different ways of using light that have incredible effects. We’ve taken a look at a few popular ways in which our photographers utilise light to create beautiful images.

Natural Light

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Natural light is perhaps the most obvious choice for many photographers. However, its importance should not be overlooked and many of the most stunning shots across CoinaPhoto are captured in natural light, allowing the true beauty of the landscape to be brought to life.

For photographers shooting landscapes, having good natural lighting is often more important than the subject matter itself. There are however many different types of natural light. It is also important to remember that the quality and colour of the light will change in accordance to the time you’re shooting as well as the season and the weather. Some days the light may be warm and yellow, whilst other days, shooting in natural light will give a blue tinged effect.

Hard Light

Hard light comes from a light source that is relatively small in comparison to the subject of the photo.  Many photographers may shy away from using hard light, however it can be used to create strong, clearly defined shadows and is therefore perfect for those wanting to capture intense photographs. CoinaPhoto has seen a significant number of photographers capturing images that have been shot in hard light, using a black and white effect, giving a spectacular finish.


Sometimes, the simplest photographs are the most impressive. In terms of photo composition and lighting, shots don’t come any simpler or more stunning than silhouette photography.

Silhouette photography is when you shoot a subject with backlight so only the outline is shown. Due to the position of the lighting, the subject is thrown into complete shadow, so no colour is visible and photographers are instead left with the subject shape alone.

CoinaPhoto has seen a rise in users utilising the sun as an effective backlight, to create wonderful silhouette photographs. Using sunlight can however be tricky to use effectively for most of the day, so if you’re wanting to give it a go, consider shooting at sunrise or sunset. Around this time, the sun is lowest in the sky and therefore it makes an ideal backlight for atmospheric images.

If you’ve used light for a great effect, we’d love to see your images, so make sure you don’t forget to give it a share in the CoinaPhoto public gallery.

The attention to lighting given by the entrants of our ‘Structures’ competition so far has blown us away. We can’t wait to see even more of your photos. If you think you could be the winner, take a look at our handy infographic that shows you just how easy it is to enter.

Coinaphoto infographic structures copy

Happy snapping!



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