Regular readers will remember that I am a huge fan of filters. They are fun and can bring real drama to a photo, or make you laugh.
I want to introduce the Affinity Lighting filter. It is a digital light source that can add a sense of mystery to a photo and would be fantastic to spotlight a cat face, or a cat product for a blogger.
I want to share this as you may find something similar in your own photo editing software and want to experiment with it too. If you are at home then exploring your own photo software is a great idea.
I have used this technique on a cute portrait of Harvey, and also and a lamp I photographed recently. Different types of photo will stretch your skills in different ways so grab a handful of images and see how your approach changes with each one.
Affinity Lighting Control Panel
Although this might look scary, after you start playing around you will see what each button or slider does and be able to adjust your filter settings for creepy shadows or dramatic spotlights and everything in between.
If you check out this image, you can see that a new panel appears to allow you to make fine adjustments to your lighting. I recommend that you play around here and push every slider to extremes. You will learn what works and what doesn’t!
There are three options:
- Spot (the cone)
- Point of Light
- Directional Light
The most interesting I will show you here Spot aka the Cone of light.
The X on the image shows where the adjustment sliders for the Outer Cone and the Inner Cone are. These can be adjusted separately and you can move then outside the image if you need to.
The type of light can be changed but the most effective use of this filter is to adjust the spotlight in the cat or object you have chosen.
In the photograph of Harvey above, you can see how placement changes the lighting effect. I have stretched the outer cone beyond the photograph to get the effect I am after.
I recommend you keep adjusting the filter tool to get the effect you might have in your imagination.
I changed the location of the light on Harvey’s portrait in this image so the light course in the filter is coming from a different location.
Harvey now looks different. He looks less ‘spooky’ in this photograph and I wish I had adjusted it to give more intense light, but he looks cute anyway.
A Finished Light Filter Portrait
Out of curiosity, I tried the filter on a photograph I have of a lamp from a restaurant. It is full of amazing and interesting textures so I could not resist experimenting on this photograph.
Using the Filter for a Lifestyle photo
I took the photograph close-up so I could get the reflection, like something presented in a lifestyle magazine. The lamp sat on a side counter, not on a stand, and this made capturing the reflection a lot easier.
I fired up the Affinity Lighting filter and began to play around.
You can see that the cone of light shines from where a natural light source might be. I then stretched the cone to extend the light further, and I chose to move it outside the photograph itself.
The reflection is highlighted on the right and the glow of the lamp mirrors it. This offers a different and interesting view that focuses on texture as much as showing that it’s a glowing lamp.
The final placement of the filter I tried was behind the lamp. This gives it an almost abstract feeling and every time I moved the adjustment cone the view changed. I admit that I could have played for hours but I had a blog post to write for Brian so I stopped with this one.
Affinity Light Filter Summary
I use one photo editing program. You may have:
- Photoshop Elements,
- Corel Paintshop Pro or,
- Phase One – Capture One Pro.
Each gives you similar types of filter options that focus your light onto a cat or an object so experiment, have fun. Don’t be afraid to really push the boundaries with your adjustments. It will show you amazing effects and total disasters, all filled with drama.
Which effect did you like best using the filter?
If you have any questions or want to show me the results of your own filter adventures, get in touch by email or through a comment on the blog. I would love to see how you get on.
Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can create impressive cat photographs and fun movies with the camera they carry.
She is a Professional Member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.