AI EXPERIMENTS

AI Photography Guide: Mastering Light Effect — Volume 7

Samuele
6 min readFeb 21, 2024
This image was created using an AI image creation program.

This story was written with the assistance of an AI writing program.

In this seventh installment of our guide on harnessing AI to create captivating images, we delve into the nuanced use of lighting to elevate both landscapes and portraits. This chapter is concise yet packed with insightful techniques that add depth and intrigue to your photographic compositions.

Here are the light effects we’ll explore

  1. Reflection
  2. Refraction
  3. Lens Flare
  4. Bokeh
  5. Shadow Play
  6. Silhouetting
  7. Diffused Light
  8. High Key Lighting
  9. Low Key Loghting
  10. Color Gels

Each of these techniques can dramatically transform your photographic compositions, making them more dynamic and emotionally resonant.

Story’s image prompt: a shiny crystal ball on a table, in the style of illusionary architectural elements, neo-impressionist, golden light, swirling colors, zeiss batis 18mm f/2.8, award-winning, planar expressionism

Reflection

This effect captures light bouncing off surfaces, creating mirror-like or subtle reflective qualities in your image. It’s particularly effective in enhancing water bodies in landscapes or adding a surreal quality to portraits.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: a tree reflecting in water and clouds, in the style of epic fantasy scenes, detailed atmospheric portraits, flickr, mixes realistic and fantastical elements, light indigo and dark amber, dutch landscapes, fairy tale

Refraction

This involves light bending as it passes through mediums like glass or water, creating distorted or dream-like imagery. Use refraction to add an element of fantasy or to artistically warp reality in your compositions.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: close up portrait of a girl with rainbow colored eyes, refracted light effect, in the style of vray tracing, distorted, fractured depictions, shiny/glossy, realistic depiction of light, wavy resin sheets, dreamlike illustrations,

Lens Flare

A creative way to use direct light sources, lens flare adds a dramatic or ethereal feel to your images. It’s ideal for conveying a sense of brightness or for adding a cinematic quality to your work.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: light reflected from the building wall in a city street, in the style of anamorphic lens flare, new york cityscape, light turquoise and amber, detailed backgrounds, flickr, cross processing, sun-soaked colours

Bokeh

This popular effect, characterized by soft out-of-focus backgrounds, helps in drawing attention to the main subject. It’s excellent for creating a sense of depth and for adding an artistic, dreamy quality to portraits or detailed landscape elements.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: a glass crystal ball on top of a table with the lights on behind, bokeh, in the style of colorful fantasy realism, light gold and turquoise, fantastical street, rustic impressionism, swirling colors, long distance and deep distance, silver and orange

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: a close up of the girl with light shining behind her, in the style of digital art techniques, bokeh, mixes realistic and fantastical elements, hyper-realistic water, pensive portraiture, teal and orange, emotive faces

Shadow

Utilizing shadows can add a dramatic and mysterious element to your images. By playing with the contrast between light and dark, you can create compelling compositions that tell a story or convey emotion.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: person walking through a curved tunnel with shadow, in the style of sculptural and geometric, horizontal stripes, golden light, flickr, monolithic structures, large canvas format, urban life

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: a person walking through a street and soaking up the light, in the style of fantastical dreamscapes, national geographic photo, impressive panoramas, god rays, samyang af 14mm f/2.8 rf, photo-realistic landscapes, associated press photo

Silhouetting

This technique involves backlighting your subject to create a silhouette effect. It’s great for creating a sense of mystery or drama, and it can simplify an image to focus on shape and form.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: man in boat riding on the waves, in the style of digital art wonders, dark gold and orange, photojournalism, rusty debris, vibrant use of light and shadow, 32k uhd, rural life depictions

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: giraffe is looking at the reflection on the mirror, in the style of monochrome landscapes, 8k resolution, soft, romantic landscapes, dark, foreboding landscapes, national geographic photo, flowing silhouettes

Diffused Light

Soft, scattered light, often achieved through diffusers or natural fog, can create a serene, ethereal atmosphere in your images. It’s particularly effective in softening landscapes or creating gentle, flattering portraits.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: a beautiful person walking down a street in bright light, in the style of mist, golden hues, city portraits, god rays, spatial concept art, stereoscopic photography

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: a beautiful woman in the fog of swirling leaves, in the style of light yellow and light gold, surrealistic elements, hyper-realistic water, ethereal cloudscapes, light cyan and bronze

High Key Lighting

This style involves using a lot of light to minimize shadow and create a bright, even illumination. It’s great for creating a hopeful, upbeat mood in images and works well for both portraits and certain types of landscape photography.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: a woman in a red dress with wings fluttering in, in the style of flowing fabrics, dreamlike composition, light-filled scenes, bright color palette, hurufiyya, high gloss

Low Key Lighting

The opposite of high key, this technique uses minimal lighting for a moody, dramatic effect, emphasizing shadows and contours. It’s ideal for creating a sense of mystery or drama in your images.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: a person reading a book in a dark room with white rays of sun from the window, in the style of art of burma, tokina at-x 11–16mm f/2.8 pro dx ii, frequent use of yellow, otherworldly, dansaekhwa, soggy, raw and powerful

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: a photo that was taken of a woman with freckles, in the style of high contrast lighting, detailed monochrome, vray tracing, distinctive noses, photo-realistic techniques, close up, contrast of textures

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: photo of table, bottles in a room with sunlight, in the style of post-apocalyptic landscapes, romantic scenes, uhd image, storybook illustration, dramatic, somber religious works, rustic still lifes, captivating, emotional imagery

Color Gels

Using colored gels on lights can add a vibrant or surreal element to your images. This technique can set a mood, convey emotion, or simply add visual interest through color.

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: holi color splashes of colorful paint on the face a beautiful picture, in the style of neon-infused digitalism, resin, subtle ink application, meditative color contrasts, weirdcore, ultra detailed, vibrant figuration

This image was created using an AI image creation program.

Prompt: silhouette portrait of a woman dancing against colorful curtains, in the style of dynamic energy flow, life-sized installations, flowing fabrics, realistic depiction of light, rainbowcore, conceptual installation art, ballet academia

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Samuele

I'm a hobby programmer, experimenting with Svelte, Javascript, Construct 3 and magic tools