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PORTRAIT AND CANDID PHOTOGRAPHY: PHOTO WORKSHOP by Erin Manning

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Chapter 3. WORKING WITH LIGHT

WORKING WITH LIGHT
  • Recognize the Characteristics of Light

  • Control the Light

  • Meter for Exposure

When I initially learned to recognize the different qualities of light, it was equivalent to learning a new language. This new spark of understanding inspired me to develop my creative eye and explore the world of photography in a more confident manner. My goal is to assist you in identifying the characteristics of light so you understand this language and can use it to improve your photographs. Light can speak to you and influence every image you create, if you know how to identify the basics.

RECOGNIZE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF LIGHT

Great images are a synthesis of content, composition, technical ability, and timing, but these components are secondary to the presence of light. The quality, direction, intensity, and color of light all have an effect on your image.

QUALITY

Millions of years of evolution have conditioned the human eye to judge all light in terms of natural sunlight. The sun's position in the sky and various atmospheric conditions alter the quality of light visible in our natural world. To develop your awareness of light, look at the world around you at different times of the day and observe how the light falls upon a tree in your backyard, or a building in your neighborhood. Think of the soft, warm light of sunrise; the harsh overhead light of midday; or the warm, golden ...

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