Use light to direct your audience

Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, ƒ/22, 25 sec


We are progressing through the multimedia workshop here in Bucharest, Romania. Last night we went out on the town to get some b-roll for the student’s projects.
Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 2200, ƒ/4.5, 1/500
Bucharest has canals and water fountains that it is known for. I wanted to capture the reflections at night time in the water and capturing the car lights blurred as well.
Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 12800, ƒ/6.3, 1/200
You want to make your photos better, then don’t light everything evenly. Shooting at night is one of the very best ways to shoot and make your photos more dramatic since only where you have street lights, car lights or anything since the sun isn’t lighting the scene help you grab people’s attention.
Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 200, ƒ/9, 1/500
Notice here in the daytime scene how the light being more even on everything means your eye has trouble being directed as in the top three photos.
Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 1800, ƒ/5.6, 1/500
Here to make this photo work of the group selfie you get physically close to direct the audience where to look.
Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 2200, ƒ/5.6, 1/500
I am only inches away here from the subjects here with my AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens. This helps me be sure you know to look at the photographers. Now if it were pitch black I could be a bit further back and just have light only on the subjects and then you would go right to them. However, with the light even all through the scene you must rely heavily on composition and not the light to make the photo work.
Nikon D750, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/500 
Now in the last photo we are inside where the evenly fluorescent lighted classroom makes it difficult to use light to direct your eyes. So here I used a Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8 lens to isolate the subject through framing and using the shallow depth-of-field to help you force the audience to the student and teacher as they work on a project.
I think it is quite apparent that the first three photos are more dramatic and grabbing the audience’s attention than the other photos and all of this is due to not lighting the entire scene evenly.