Using Light in Photography - Dreamstime
Light. It affects everything we do. Without it, we could see nothing. Our photographs would look strangely similar...plain black. Light can be what sets one photograph above another. This brings to mind when I went to the local fair this summer. Of course I went to the building with the photography exhibits. As I was browsing the pictures, I came across two prints of Mount Rushmore. They were almost exactly the same shot as far as focal length and composition went. The difference was the light. One was taken on a clear day. The sky was cloudless and a washed out blue. The light was harsh, and there were severe highlights and shadows. The competitor's shot was taken on a day with thin dappled clouds. It had a very pleasant sky--not grey, or washed out blue--but just very nice clouds. The resulting light was a soft, warm, diffused light. The landscape was a warm color and was very evenly lit, although not lacking soft shadows. It was obvious which was the winner- and all because of the type of light.
I'm going to touch on a couple basic types of light. This is a very commonly discussed photographic topic, so I won't do it justice. I'm not an expert either, but I'll do what I can. I'll first talk about the various directions of light, then I'll go through the types of light.
To start with, we'll discuss the front light.
The most dramatic direction of light is the backlight. This reveals the shape of the object.
Now onto the types of light.
A much prefered 'texture' of light isAlpenglow, as illustrated on the right.
You can also photograph light itself, but that's a different article. :)
Photo credits: , Elimitchell.
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