Although you are only starting to get interested in photography, learning to use lighting right can prove to be a powerful tool to improve the quality of your photographs. If you are in it for pleasure or for a job you just took, some tips will make lighting work for you and help you achieve your goals for any given photography project.
Move Light Sources Around
Depending on whether you want a harder or a softer light to be shone on your subject, you will benefit from moving any available light sources around. This tip only works for indoor photography.
You want to get the light to shine closer on your subject when you wish it to be broader, do the opposite to shrink it a little bit.
Use Aluminium Foil and a Cardboard for a DYI Reflector
If you are unable to afford a fancy reflector, you can always glue a flattened piece of aluminium foil that has been crumpled previously with the shiny side facing out.
The idea is that you focus the light coming from any source and aim it at your subject because this will keep the light from diffusing or softening.
Use your Natural Light Sources Right
Although there are expensive softboxes available, you can easily create your own, by using natural sources of light properly.
It can be as easy as repositioning your subject with regards to a window, as you can adjust just how much light it is hit by and at what angles. Remember that you can eliminate shadows and reduce contrast this way.
Use Light Falloff Appropriately
Managing the way the light hits the background and your subject is a simple matter of learning to use light falloff appropriately. To make your background more illuminated, you just need to place the light source far from the subject.
If what you want is the falloff to shine on your subject, simply move the light source closer to it.
Proper Use of Light to Handle Textures
Oftentimes, a photographer might want to emphasize the textures present on the subject of the photograph. If you want to take advantage of this effect, be sure to illuminate your subject from the side.
Since you could want the precise opposite and smooth out textures on your subject, the trick is to shine the light directly from the front.
Make sure you follow these lighting tips Camera Works recommends, as using them will enhance the quality of the resulting photographs. Keep in mind a lot of the times it is a matter of being creative and resourceful, instead of just having a bunch of expensive gear you are unlikely to need most of the time.