Lighting is crucial in visual arts. It shapes the image’s mood, composition, and style. Midjourney adds lighting effects automatically, but manual adjustments can yield more professional outcomes.
Types of Controllable Lighting
In Midjourney, you can manually change the lighting to achieve specific artistic goals. Controlled lighting lets you modify the light settings yourself.
Key Lighting is the main source of light. It adds depth and dimension to subjects, making faces, landscapes, and objects look more realistic. The angle of this light affects the image’s mood. For example, side lighting is striking; front lighting is pleasing.
Inserting “studio portraiture” or “studio photography” in a Midjourney prompt typically positions the subject under this primary light.
Prompt: a joyful young woman holding a Bichon Frise, studio portraiture in the style of Annie Leibovitz
Backlighting illuminates subjects from behind. It emphasizes silhouettes and detaches the subject from the background. This lighting also adds depth and can create an ethereal look.
Prompt: an extreme close up of a dandelion seed head against a blurred background, backlit to accentuate the delicate fibers
Rim lighting outlines a subject’s edges. In Midjourney, it separates subjects from backgrounds and adds focus. It brings objects or people out from the darkness.
Prompt: A hummingbird with wings spread, rim lighting freezing the rapid motion mid-flight
This technique, named after the famous Dutch artist, employs soft side lighting to fashion a triangular glow on one side of the face. In Midjourney, this introduces a timeless elegance to images.
Prompt: Generate an image of a young woman donned in a royal gown and crown, seated on a throne. Position Rembrandt lighting to illuminate the triangle of light on her right cheek, emphasizing her regal demeanor.
Candlelight offers a flickering light source that can evoke a rustic or historical ambiance in Midjourney.
Prompt: a portrait of a medieval female scholar, concentrating on an ancient manuscript, with flickering candlelight as the sole source of illumination
Natural light adds authenticity to landscapes and portraits. In Midjourney, it builds a connection with the viewer.
The golden hour, occurring after sunrise and before sunset, bathes scenes in a gentle, amber glow. It’s perfect for producing nostalgic or romantic images in Midjourney.
Prompt: A woman guitarist lost in her performance, strumming an acoustic guitar on a beach, backlit by a dramatic golden sunset, reflecting off the ocean waves
Blue Hour lighting imbues the scene with a tranquil, mysterious blue hue. It’s suitable for peaceful evening landscapes in Midjourney.
Prompt: A glassy lake reflecting blue hour clouds and colors with a fisherman in a boat
Midnight lighting can produce scenes in Midjourney that are mysterious or haunting.
Prompt: photo of a young woman sitting alone in a train, gazing out of the window at the passing landscape in the midnight
Dusk and Dawn
At dusk and dawn, lighting turns dramatic yet delicate. Such transitions in Midjourney can establish a powerful ambiance.
Prompt: A winding path through orange tulip fields underneath a pastel dusk sky
Prompt: an empty city street bathed in the soft light of dawn, with skyscrapers casting long shadows
Overcast light is soft and even. It’s good for generating portraits and outdoor scenes in Midjourney and can evoke moods like melancholy or serenity.
Prompt: a young girl sitting on a deserted beach, wrapped in a blanket, staring out at the gloomy sea, lighting: overcast
Sunbeams, or crepuscular rays, add a sense of grandeur and sanctity to landscapes. It’s effective in nature scenes in Midjourney.
Prompt: A small clearing in a dense forest with sunbeams spotlighting a tranquil deer
Prompt: A lone biker riding down a highway lined with trees casting crepuscular rays
Direct sunlight is strong and focused, creating sharp contrasts. It’s ideal for bright daytime scenes.
Prompt: a photo of female surfer riding waves, the water sparkling under the direct sunlight
This type of lighting creates a subtle, mysterious atmosphere in Midjourney.
Prompt: A bridge that seems to lead to nowhere, its opposite end swallowed entirely by the fog, creating an ethereal path into the unknown
Lighting in Midjourney isn’t just a technical aspect; it’s an art form. Each type of light has its own mood and texture. Think of it as an invisible paintbrush that adds life to your art.
Your creativity sets the boundaries, so let lighting unlock your imaginations.