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Working with Light

Unless you’re extraordinarily lucky, or supremely observant, great lighting, like most things of artistic value, doesn’t happen by accident. It’s entirely possible that you’ll randomly encounter a scene or subject that’s bathed in marvelous lighting, illumination that perfectly sculpts an image in highlights and shadows. But how often can you count on such luck? Ansel Adams is often quoted as saying (although he probably didn’t) that “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

The great photographer was known for his patience in seeking out the best lighting for a composition, and he did say, “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” My own take on excellence in illumination is that you have to possess the ability to ...

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