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Sports Portraits: Tips and Techniques for Capturing Athletic Photographs by Alan Hess

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Knowing Your Light

Understanding the Intensity, Color, and Direction of Light

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Photography is the capture of light; it’s right in the name. “Photo” means light, and “graphy” is a way of drawing or showing something. When you combine the two parts of the word, you get a drawing made of light. Light is important in photography, so you must understand the basics of light when photographing portraits. Its direction, intensity, and color, and the difference between hard and soft light all come into play.

Finding the Light

The first question to ask when setting up a portrait concerns where the light is coming from. Is it coming from the sun on the horizon ...

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