Seeing Light !

Light is the essence of photography. Without light there is no photography. Light is the photographer’s medium. The word photography is derived from the ancient Greek words, ‘photos’ and ‘graph’, meaning ‘light writing’. To understand light the photographer must be fully conversant with its qualities and behaviour. In mastering the medium the photographer learns to take control over the creation of the final image. This takes knowledge, skill and craftsmanship. It can at first seem complex and sometimes confusing. However, with increased awareness and practical experience light becomes an invaluable tool to communication. 

Develop an understanding of how light changes the mood and character of a subject or an overall image

Gain awareness of subject contrast  and the dynamic range of your camera's sensor.

what is the relationship between lighting contrast, lighting ratios, subject contrast and subject's brightness range.

Know about exposure compensation and what is the ideal exposure or the one appropriate for a scene.

Learn to handle difficult lighting situations outdoors or in the studio / indoors.

In order to manage a light source, we must first be aware of its presence. Often our preoccupation with content and framing can make us oblivious to the light falling on the subject and background. We naturally take light for granted. This can sometimes cause us to simply forget to ‘see’ the light. When light falls on a subject it creates a range of tones we can group into three main categories: highlights, midtones and shadows.

Each of these can be described by their level of illumination (how bright, how dark) and their distribution within the frame. These are in turn dictated by the relative position of subject, light source and camera. 

Not the last lightNot the last light