Lighting or Composition: Which One Takes Priority?

Lighting and composition are definitely two of the most talked-about topics when learning about photography. They are undoubtedly two of the most important pillars that, if mastered, can take your photos to the next level. But which one is more important? To answer that, we have photographer Manny Ortiz in today’s video. He shows you how lighting and composition affect the images individually, and how you can take great photos by focusing on both:

“Great lighting makes your photo look good. And great composition is how you make your photos look interesting.”

Lighting and composition both are very important aspects of photography. You cannot simply declare one to be more important than the other. But if you look at the way Ortiz works in the video, he clearly prioritizes lighting. He first locks up his lighting and then sets up the composition to make the image more interesting.

As Ortiz demonstrates in the video, you can first start by looking for lighting that sets the perfect mood for the image. Also, ensure that the subject appears as flattering as possible. And once you’re happy with the light, look for ways you can make the image more engaging and interesting.

It is not always necessary that the lighting complements the composition. It’d be great if these two worked together, but that’s rarely the case. So how do you go about working in such situations? The answer is in learning to use artificial lighting. You get amazing flexibility with composition when you’re using your own light. That way you’re not always at the mercy of Mother Nature.

What’s your view on lighting versus composition? Let us know in the comments.

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