February 2021 // The Post-Production Edition

Shooting for a Signature Shot: Posing. Lighting. Expression. Composition. | Sal Cincotta


A lot of photographers will focus on lighting. I like to refer to lighting as a journey, not a destination. I have been focused on improving my lighting since the day I began this journey of photography. That being said, it’s extremely important that we get lighting right. It creates drama, a look, a feel and more. Lighting conveys a message to the viewer. So, it’s not enough to focus on “lighting” in a generic way, but you need to focus on lighting to create a look. It’s so much more than exposure. Color of light, direction of light and quality of light can all have a major impact on the final image.

So, ultimately, here is what it comes down to: dynamic range. The more detail you retain in an image the more options you will have in post-production when it comes to editing the final image. So, if you are looking for a high-key shot, then that’s going to require you to blow out some highlights. If you want a dark and moody shot, then you will more than likely have some blocked up shadows. What I like to do when I am working is leave myself some range on either side of the histogram. Meaning, not blow out the highlights and not block up the shadows. Try and keep your histogram of the shot more in the middle. This will give you enough image detail to lift those highlights and darken those shadows in post-production. Why post-production? Because it gives you significantly more control in the final edit. If that data is lost in the RAW file, it’s near impossible to bring it back.

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