Photographing Stunning Candlelight photos
Photography is all about capturing the light, and this can come from different kinds of sources. Sunlight is the most used natural light source while studio lights are great for indoors and if you want total lighting control. Candles are another light source that does not only illuminate the subject, but can also be the subject itself. With their warm glow, they can help create an atmosphere of mystery, romance, or even hope.
Here are some useful suggestions when shooting with candlelight:
Use candles as the subject – candles come in different sizes, shapes and colors and they can be gorgeous subjects giving off their own light source. Shooting up-close will show the pretty candle all lit up with the wax appearing as if to glow. You will then capture more of the candle’s details such as the texture of the wick and wax. You can also focus more on the fascinating shapes and curves of the candle flame. Remember not to place your camera too close to the candle!
Photo by A.Drian
Experiment with the number of candles – one candle might be sufficient to light up your subject. If not, you can use several placed at strategic places in your composition. The closer the candles are to the subject, the more illumination is provided. To add more light to the scene, try placing the candle or candles near a white wall which can bounce off the light like a reflector.
Capture candlelight in context with the scene – candles are often used to symbolize hope and life. They are used during certain ceremonies and events that hold special meaning in people’s hearts. They are also lighted during difficult times as a symbol of support, when people come together to pay tribute to lost loved ones. A display of hundreds of candles can uplift the spirit and images of such scenes are powerful and can evoke strong emotions.
Photo by Sharedferret
Keep your camera steady – since candlelight may not be very bright, you might have to compensate for the low-light scenario by using a slow shutter speed. The slower the speed, the more light enters the camera sensor. If the speed is set at less than 1/60 sec, the chances of capturing camera shake are greater. Use a tripod or place the camera on a flat steady surface like a table to avoid this issue.
Compose creatively – candlelight might be naturally pretty to look at but you still need to use photographic composition elements to truly make your shots stand out. The Rule of Thirds, leading lines, perspective, balance, colors and the like can further improve the visual impact of the shot. You can have the candles showing up in the photo, or have them just off the frame. You can focus on the candle’s fine details or use it to light up a dinner setting. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that all the props are there for a reason, the background is not cluttered, and the composition catches the viewer’s attention.
Photo by Jordanfischer
Pay attention to your camera settings – adjust the exposure settings depending on how the scene is set up. Shutter speed, aperture and ISO form the exposure triangle which controls how much light is captured by the camera. A slow shutter speed, as mentioned earlier, will let in more light but will increase the risk of camera shake. A large aperture size, such as f/2.8, will also let in a lot of light but will decrease the depth of field. A high ISO, such as ISO 800, will absorb more light but can also induce image noise, especially in low-light situations. Experiment with the exposure by taking some test shots to find out which setting is most appropriate for the shot.
Photo by Gotbrimmed
Did this post inspire you to do some candlelight photography? Or do you have more candlelight photos you would like us to share? comment below. If you want us to know something about candlelight photography, drop us a comment.
I hope you find these suggestions for taking stunning candlelight photos useful.