May’s theme / technique: It’s all about the Light
If you want to see what this month’s assignments are in advance then please click here. All the assignments are available from the menu on the left under the 2020 Photo Challenge / Assignments.
The six visual keys to a great photograph are:
- Depth of field
Being Creative with light. Photography literally means writing with light which immediately tells you how important lighting is. And with light comes shadows. Another important feature. An appreciation of light is crucial to making great photographs.
The qualities of light that affect a photograph are:
- brightness of light
this is fairly easy to understand; it is the intensity of light.
- lighting contrasts
is the difference between highlights and shadows in a scene
- specular light
or hard light can be explained by thinking how sunlight strikes an object on a bright and clear day. One side will be lit up, the other in dark shadow.
- diffused light
on the other hand when it is an overcast day the sun lights the clouds and they become the source of light. Light wraps itself around the subject and reflects light into the shadows. The light is soft or diffused.
- direction of light
creating depth in photographs relies on knowing the source of the light. Front light comes from behind the camera and strikes the front of the scene, usually producing a 2-dimensional image. Use bold colours or a strong colour contrast to replace the lack of shadows. Sidelight is most apparent when the sun is low and shadows are long separating foreground from the background and giving a 3-dimensional look. Backlight comes from behind the subject and can create depth and shape. If a subject is transparent then backlighting is a way to make them glow.
- colour of light
Sometimes you can actually see the colour of light. The so-called ‘magic hours‘ before sunrise or after sunset can produce coloured air which can be pink or orange or golden. Everything seems to change colour. There is also the question of white balance (WB). A setting on your camera that makes things that are supposed to be white really look white. This setting can be changed either in the camera, or if you shoot in RAW, in processing.
- brightness of light
As I have previously said, I am not an expert in the technicalities of photography. I tend to use auto settings most of the time. I have altered the white balance occasionally when it has been cloudy or when photographing snow, to prevent that blueness you often get. But by all means experiment to see what difference the presets in your camera make.
This week's assignment - Look for shadows. Strong light, casting well-defined shadows, can create interesting abstract images. Layering light and shadows brings a sense of depth to an image and can convey mystery.
Tip: Shadows are more dramatic when the sun is lower to the horizon
(Please click on an image to enlarge)
(1) Evening shadows on a row of terraced houses in Bridport, Dorset. I particularly like the elderly gentleman emerging from his house at that moment, into the shadows.
(2) I love looking for patterns created by shadows in strong sunlight.
(3) Occasionally it is not a plant itself that catches my eye, but the way the light falls on it casting shadows and patterns as in this delicate bamboo print.
(4) Or this shadow pattern in the Japanese Garden.
(5) And the shadow patterns of these common polypodium ferns growing on the limb of an ancient Magnolia tree appear to be growing from the base.
(6) The fingers of long shadows on the harbour beach in St Ives on a summer’s evening reach out for this tiny figure watching the tide come in.
(7) And finally old worn headstones in a churchyard among dappled sunlight and deep shadows. Again captured as the sun begins to set.
If you would like to join in with the 2020 photo challenge then please take a look at my 2020 Photo Challenge page. No complicated rules, just a camera required 🙂
- Create your own post with some information about how you composed the shot.
- Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
- Add the tag #2020PhotoChallenge so everyone can find your entry easily in the WP Reader
- Get your post(s) in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in June.
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