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Nikon D3300 Digital Field Guide by J. Dennis Thomas

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Chapter 6: Working with Light

Light is the key to photography; indeed, the first part of the word, photos, means ‘light’ in Greek. This should tell you how important it is. Without light you cannot create an image, but in photography, light involves so much more than simply creating an image. The quantity and quality of light are also extremely important in influencing how your images appear.

Your job as a photographer is to learn how to see the light — the way it interacts with the subject and how it interacts with the camera settings. It’s important to learn how to control and shape the light if it doesn’t suit your needs. You must acquire the skill of controlling light and not letting the light control your shots.

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Controlling light is the key to setting the tone of your images.

Lighting Essentials

The angle and direction from which the light comes, as well as the color of the light source and the quality of the light, all work together to play a part in the way the image materializes on the sensor. All of these things combined affect the mood, tone, and feeling of an image, so it’s important to grasp the basic tenets behind using light for photography. This section covers the two main types of lighting used by photographers and filmmakers today: soft and hard light.

The quality of light

Photographers and filmmakers use the term quality of light to describe the way that light ...

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