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How to Capture Mood in Your Photography

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

If you want your photos to get noticed, they will have to connect with viewers on an emotional level. Capturing mood is a great way to do this.

There are many ways to capture mood. The color, lighting and the expression of your subject (if you’re doing portrait photography) are all key. Read on to find out how to make your pictures stand out.

Go Candid Instead of Posed

Walk into a room with a camera and you will notice everyone stiffen up a bit. This can kill the mood of your photo.

A candid shot, on the other hand, will show emotion making it the perfect way to touch your audience.

Taking candid shots is not easy to do. You will have to be prepared to shoot motion and get a good angle without being noticed, but your efforts will pay off in the long run.

Consider the Lighting

The lighting will play a major role in the mood you capture in your picture. For instance, soft lighting will give off a warm and cozy vibe while bright light is fun and energetic.

To get the perfect light for your photo, move around to see what it will look like with the sun in front of or behind your subjects. You can also adjust your exposure to explore your options.

Ditch the Flash

Flash is almost certain to give your photos an unnatural look. It brings an overly white tint making for a misrepresentation of color and it causes the light to come in at a weird angle.

If your shoot requires light, a flash should be the last solution for illumination. Try using other sources of light, like studio light, instead.

A wide aperture (low f/stop number) will also bring in more light making your photos look natural and not too dark.

Show the Setting and Environment

The setting and environment can add to the mood of the photo. For instance, if you are taking a picture of someone water sailing, it may be good to get in close to see the expression on their face and their body movements.

However, if you do a wide shot to capture the whole scene, it will provide a sense of environment that adds to the aesthetic and mood.

Capture Emotions

Capturing emotions can be challenging. It’s not easy to find those precious moments, but if you pay close attention to detail, you may be able to catch some gems.

Note, people are likely to be more comfortable in their natural environment. If you take pictures of subjects in their homes or offices, you will be better able to catch their essence.

Use Textures

Textures are also instrumental in catching mood. If you take a picture of sand, there will be a grittiness to your photo. Steel and sharp angles are cold and austere. Materials like fleece and velvet will create feelings of comfort and warmth.

Balance Color Temperature

Mood can also be brought out in the editing process, especially if you balance the color temperature. The white balance can be adjusted to make an image feel hotter or colder.

The white balance will allow you to slide from yellow to blue. Blue tones are strong and introspective while yellows are bright and energetic.

Black and white and sepia tones are great for bringing feelings of nostalgia that are ideal for producing a specific mood.

Capturing the right mood can make all the difference in your photography. The tips in this article will help you bring out emotion which will touch the viewer on a deeper level and get your images noticed. What do you do when you want to give your photos that little something extra?


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