Photography and light go hand in hand. Most of the times used as the source of illumination, light can also be creatively used as the subject as in the case of candle light photography. The warm glow of the candle light forms an effective subject for creating an atmosphere of romance, mystery and even hope. Here are 9 quick tips to help you get started for creating stunning images of candle lit celebrations.
Turn The Flash Off
The on-camera flash is not always the best alternative for shooting in low ambient light. In fact most of the times the best of the shots are completely ruined when the camera fires the flash automatically. However if you can control the intensity of flash nothing like that. This makes room for one of the most valuable tips for photographing fire and flames — the source of light itself. Set your camera to manual mode and adjust the intensity of flash manually. This way you can ensure that the frame is filled with proper exposure and required details. If you leave the camera to its own settings and calculations, it will produce scattered effect of light from candle flame.
Photograph One Candle In Isolation
Photographing the essence of light either by framing just one candle or capturing the scattering lights of multiple candles — both result in amazing compositions. But when you photograph the singularity, i.e capture one candle in isolation, it enhances the affect of the candle’s light and portrays the strength of light.
Get Creative With Aperture Priority Mode
While photographing the single candle gives you an opportunity to creatively use it for portraying the strength of light, multiple candles effectively help in creating mood and atmosphere. The lines and rows of candles in intself form beautiful patterns which make up for great shots to start with. And experimenting with aperture priority mode helps you in trying your hands at creative compostions like focuisng on one candle while blurring the rest or complimenting the candle light with beautiful bokehs of the scattered lights of adjacent candles.
Capture The Reflections
Candle light captured amidst the reflective surface compliments the subject gracefully. It accounts for some classic and interesting candle light shots like the one that follows.
Photograph The Smoke
Other than photographing the flame, the fire and the beautiful design of the candle, leverage your creativity by photographing the smoke. Just like splash photography, smoke photography is also full of surprises for the photographer as well as the viewer. This left over residue of combustion process takes interesting shapes worth capturing.
Try Close-up Shots
Get creative with candle light photography by trying your hands at macro shots. Fill the frame with finely layered colors of the flame, melted wax and other minute details which make up for interesting compositions.
Candlelight Makes Up For Interesting Background
Candlelight has a warm and romantic apeal to it. And thus becomes a strong contender to be used as a complimentary subject, for interesting backgrounds or as the source of light. Especially when shooting the portraits or taking wedding photographs, the candle lights in the background enhances the overall look and feel of the scene.
Enhance The Warmth
Candles offer a unique source of light and unlike other sources of light which are primarily used as the source of illumination, candle light conveys a sense of warmth and cosiness. But when you photograph the candle light your camera’s white balance settings (normally set to auto) come in the way of truly revealing the mesmerizing effect of this amazing source of light. Play around with the white balance settings (turn it to daylight or tungsten) to arrive at the settings which work best for you or simply shoot in RAW and tweak the white balance in post-processing phase.
Strive For Simplicity
Striving for simplicity is the sure-shot mantra for getting the best shots at hand. The minimalist approach helps in keeping the distractions out of the scene while focusing on the aesthetics of the subject — the strength of light in this case.
Lastly, have fun experimenting candle light photography.