May’s theme / technique: It’s all about the Light
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 month's final assignment - Experiment in different weather conditions such as mist or rain, OR take a photograph indoors such as a still life or light entering a room streaming through a window OR experiment in capturing the colour of light.
(1) Light streaming through this church window creates a quiet tranquil place in which to contemplate.
(2) Photographs taken during the Magic Hours – capturing the colour of light
(a) Blue light – evening in St Ives, facing north – early July around 8 pm
(b) Pink light – dawn facing west – April 6 am
(3) A Misty Morning
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 week, as the new theme begins next Sunday about Depth of Field
Another month of fabulous photographs. Thanks to everyone who joined me this month with your versions of light. I know some of the assignments this month weren’t easy, but sometimes it is good to step out of one’s comfort zone. I am finding some tasks more challenging myself! But it is worth remembering that an appreciation of light is crucial to making great photographs.
As always, please click on the links in the comment section to visit some very talented photographers.