Why Light?

What difference does light make? Why can’t you just shoot everything in available light? Any of you who have attended one of my in-class workshops have no doubt heard my opinions on the importance of learning to light . You’ve also heard the emphasis placed on the importance of learning exposure and camera control before you move into trying to learn about lighting this way developing an understanding of how to control both.

Lots of people only think of learning about lighting when it comes to portraiture but lighting is important in every genre of photography.

I will get into a great deal more detail at some point on how to light especially portraiture but for now I thought I would share a few photos of the same subject in different colours and different amount and positions of light. Obviously all the same subject but each feels a little different. Each a different mood and a different area of detail. None of which have been particularly cleaned up.

All shot with a 50mm Macro on ISO 100 at 1/250th

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Ambient Light Only – @ F5.6

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F8 with a touch of flash from front lower left.

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F7.1 Light from left side

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Same as above with a little creative white balance.

The to change the mood a bit I intensified the light by moving it slightly closer and changing the position. I was intent on going black & white in post.

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Light was moved to a position a little higher and further to the back.

F9 for a bit more detail and depth of field with almost all light from directly below.

F9 for a bit more detail and depth of field with almost all light from directly below.

The point of all this was only to emphasis to you how with one subject, one lens and pretty much one composition, you can create a variety of images with slight changes in light and colour.

Now let’s go back to colour and change subjects.

F9 @ 1/80th

F9 @ 1/80th

F9 @ 1/160th - Notice the light (from the flash) is the same as above but the ambient light has been reduced by increasing the shutter speed.

F9 @ 1/160th – Notice the light (from the flash) is the same as above but the ambient light has been reduced by increasing the shutter speed.

1/160th @ F29 the the light moved way back right.

1/160th @ F29 the the light moved way back right.

All along I was looking at the bird like portion of the flower and wonder if it was there to attract a certain bird or insect or to deter the same.

All along I was looking at the bird like portion of the flower and wonder if it was there to attract a certain bird or insect or to deter the same.

Go out and play with light. The more you play, the more you learn.

Up next. My trip to the San Diego Zoo in some rather shitty lighting conditions but I had to shoot. If I did not share what I shot people would start thinking I’m a photographer. (a not so inside joke)

Have a great week.

What’s Playing While I Write This? Talkin 2 Myself (feat. Kobe) by Eminem – Recovery

Thanks for reading and, as always, you are invited and encouraged to “share” with the buttons.

2 thoughts on “Why Light?”

  1. Love this blog! Coincidently I am taking just the very thing right now in my course.

    Thanks so much for the pics and tips.
    Sure does help!

    Wendy :)

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