Challenge Highlights: In the mood

We switched the mood lighting on and challenged the Creatively Squared Instagram community to experiment with different lighting effects to alter the feeling of their images. It was the best type of mood swing we could imagine and we saw over 400 entries tagged with #cs_inthemood during the week.

If you’ve just joined us, this month we are learning all about light - how to find it, work with it and use it creatively to enhance our visual story storytelling. Each week during June we are focussing on a different aspect of light and our second instalment was all about using lighting to affect the mood of your image. Even if you missed the challenge week we put together some great resources and tutorials which you can access any time.

Missed week 1? Catch up on all the resources and see the entries from #cs_chasethesun

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Top tips from our special guest mentor

We invited a special guest Barbora Kurcova to guide and mentor us during the week. Based in Norway, Barbora faces limited light year round and has become an expert as using it to her advantage to build mood and communicate emotion through her imagery. Find out how Barbora fell in love with dramatic lighting moody storytelling in our interview.

During her mentorship Barbora shared some great tips with our community during the week. Here were some of her top recommendations for adding mood to your image:
1. The three key elements that have the most impact on the mood of your image are light, texture and movement.
2. Don't give up on creating in unpredictable lighting situations. There is always a way to set up your photo on window sill or by the open door no matter the weather!
3. If you want to take a moody image but not have it feel too gloomy or sad try adding a pop of colour to your composition.
4. Play with the contrast, toning the contrast up will make shadows look dramatic, toning it down can bring nostalgic feeling into photography instead.
5. Moody photos don't need to be dark. You can enhance the mood and create a nostalgic feel by adding layers and textures instead

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Pink, dreamy and ethereal by  @imagineamy_

Pink, dreamy and ethereal by @imagineamy_

Wistful ambience by  @zaeeema

Wistful ambience by @zaeeema

Peaceful, calm and serene with  @india_c_

Peaceful, calm and serene with @india_c_

Joyful hope and inspiration by  @lenaspicturebook

Joyful hope and inspiration by @lenaspicturebook

Stunning self portrait inspired by Barbora from  @_autumnjanelle_

Stunning self portrait inspired by Barbora from @_autumnjanelle_

Incredible lighting technique  @hanyphotographyuk

Incredible lighting technique @hanyphotographyuk

Joyful exuberance with  @thefashionmommy

Joyful exuberance with @thefashionmommy

Relaxed and cheerful with  @pears39

Relaxed and cheerful with @pears39

Thank you to everyone who challenged themselves to create a moody image this week. Your entries captured such beautiful moments and emotion. It was a truly impressive gallery and we are so grateful to have you share your creativity with us. Ready to sink your teeth into some more lighting inspired photography? Check out our next challenge Light em up!