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The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum

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CHAPTER 5

Light

Image

THE IMPORTANCE OF LIGHT IN PHOTOGRAPHY cannot be overemphasized. Light, in fact, is the central issue. The word photography was coined by William Henry Fox Talbot when he made the first negative/positive image in 1839. It was an amalgam of two Greek words, photo (light) and graphy (to draw). Fox Talbot saw photography as a means of “drawing with light”.

The only thing recorded by film and sensors is light. They have no understanding of subject matter. Film and sensors do not recognize faces, trees, buildings, sunsets, etc. They only recognize levels of light. A sharp lens focuses those levels of light on specific areas of the film ...

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