Creating Light, Bright & Airy Images

A question I'm frequently asked is how I get my images so bright & airy. There are a few key elements to take into consideration when going for this aesthetic. Over the years, I've really practiced the art of getting such airy images and here are the best lessons I can share. 


Aside from being a complete sucker for white interiors the main reason I painted my bedroom pure white was for photographic reasons. There's a reason why photography studios are always stark clinical white. Even on the darkest of winter days my room can still give me hope to getting bright images. There is no worry of getting a strange colour cast thrown onto my subject which can happen when shooting in a dark surrounding. Of course, you don't have to have a pure white bedroom. Bathrooms can work as the perfect make shift studio. Or you can make your own by hanging white sheets etc. 


I'm not a fan of artificial lighting at all, I don't believe it ever looks natural. The best lighting conditions to shoot in believe, it or not, is a light grey sky. You see when it's bright sunshine it can be too harsh and cast awful shadows over the image. That strong yellow light will also interfere with the colour balance horribly so grey creates the perfect lighting scenario. For getting your subject evenly lit it's best to try and get light coming in from all angles. Anything that is too strong from a particular angle will cast a shadow. When taking blog pictures I open all the doors around me so that the light can travel through, it's such a simple thing to do but it helps so much. 


When shooting still life your setting is key. Think about the background you're using and if that is going to interfere. A white backdrop might seem like a good idea but if for example you're shooting a white item it can be a little difficult. As no two white items are identical in tone they can interfere with each other making the other item look muddy. It's important to pick a background that will compliment whatever you're photographing and not work against it. Soft grey's and peaches are always a favourite of mine to photograph against as they add a little bit of interest to the image without being overpowering.


Particularly in the winter time the following items are key for any DSLR owner. A tripod and a remote. Although I'm not personally a fan of shooting stationary as I find it restricting it's perfect for shooting on a low ISO to get the image as crispy as possible. Whilst letting a lot of light into the camera even when there isn't a huge amount available. A remote control is your best friend, as when shooting on a super slow shutter speed even when mounted on a tripod you can still encounter camera shake. So being as far away from it as possible ensures a pin sharp image even in the dullest setting. 

Do you have any tips for creating bright & airy images?

R x 

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