The Crucial Role of Light



I was incredibly lucky at the beginning of my photography career 40 years ago because Larry West, my accomplished instructor and a brilliant nature photographer, freely gave me sound advice for becoming a competent nature photographer. I remember him asking me, “John, what do you get when you photograph a subject in bad light?” I pondered the question for a moment in the hopes of coming up with a profound and all-encompassing answer. I said, “The picture would have too much contrast, the highlights would burn out and lose detail, the shadows would go too black and lose detail, and the shadows would be unflattering.” Larry smiled softly and simply said, “You get a bad picture.” I was merely describing some of the ...

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