Working with Light

The most important factor in photography is light; without it, your camera is rendered useless. You need light to make the exposure that results in an image. Whether the light is recorded to silver halide emulsion on a piece of film or to the CMOS sensor on your Nikon D7000, you can't make a photograph without it.

Not only is light necessary to make an exposure, but also it has different qualities that can impact the outcome of your image. Light can be soft and diffuse or hard and directional, and it can also affect the color of your images. The ability to control light is crucial. When there is not enough light to capture the image you're after, you can employ alternative sources of light, such as flash, to achieve the effect you're after.


Controlling the light allows you to set the tone of the image.

Natural Light

Though it is by far the easiest type of light to find, natural light is sometimes the most difficult to work with because it comes from the sun, is often unpredictable, and can change from minute to minute. A lot of times I hear people say, “Wow, it's such a nice, sunny day; what a perfect day to take pictures.” But unfortunately this is not often the case. A bright day when the sun is high in the sky presents many obstacles.

First, you have serious contrast issues on a sun-drenched day. Oftentimes, the digital sensor doesn't have the latitude ...

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