Ever wonder what photographers are talking about when they talk about the right light?
The blank stares don’t escape my attention when talking to non-photographer friends. After all they haven’t spent half their life chasing the perfect light. Most grasp that their pictures don’t have enough light when they come out dark but they have no idea how to fix it other than to blindly throw flash out or move out into the mid afternoon direct sun.
LET ME SAY THIS AS PLAINLY AS POSSIBLE. MORE LIGHT DOES NOT MEAN BETTER LIGHT.
Another expression you may be familiar with: Quality trumps quantity. This is a very important concept.
To deal with light we must understand the qualities of light. Is the light hard or soft? What is the temperature of the light? What is the direction of the light? Am I using natural light, artificial light or mixing the two?
Now be honest, how many of you just had your eyes glaze over and say to yourself, “what the heck is he talking about”? If I had to venture a guess: I would say probably most of you. Unless, of course, you are a photographer or artist. Then you understand that light is our paint and shadow is our canvas.
Every instructor and instruction that I have had in my life has lumped all of these qualities in to one large hard to digest instruction. Then it was up to me to go learn it on my own. That is not how I want to present this to you, my readers. However, it will require some participation on your part to make a true learning experience. So, what I have planned is to break down light into smaller parts and go more in-depth which each part. Your part will come in the form of assignments. Don’t worry you will have a week to complete most of them. This first one is the exception. Starting the first week of January I will dive into this topic with direction of light. Until then your assignment is to take photos. take at least 3 per day. They can be of anything you want. What I want you to do with those photos is choose the best one from each day and post it in the comments section along with why you think this was your best photo of the day and what you think the quality of light is that made it your best photo of the day.