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  • Writer's pictureShivaram Ainavolu

Big Love for Small Light

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

One of the most important elements of creativity in photography, light is what allows us to convey information and, more importantly, emotion in an image. Once you understand light, you’ll have the knowledge to create a wide variety of creative images.

Photography—Drawing With Light

Work with light is the most fundamental element in work with photography. Even the word “photography” tells us this; it was formed by joining the Greek words for light and drawing. Just as painters brush paint onto a canvas to create a picture, photographers paint an image by capturing light particles (photons) on a light-sensitive medium (film or a digital sensor). So without light, not a single picture could ever be taken.

A photographic image is created by capturing various amounts of light reflected from the various parts of a scene. Dark objects absorb more part of the light and reflect less into the camera, while bright objects reflect more light. This defines the picture’s bright nesses. Its colors are defined by the wavelengths and frequencies of the reflected light. Objects with different hues reflect light of different wavelengths and frequencies.

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”

George Eastman

Ways to use light in photography

When it comes to using light, there are a number of different ways it can be used in photography. The direction, hardness or softness and temperature of light can all have an impact on the mood and feeling of an image. Side light, for example, evokes feelings of romance and nostalgia, whereas light from below creates a sense of terror. Hard shadows create more of a sense of drama than soft shadows, and cool colour tones convey more negative emotions than warm light.

Light, and how to control light, is a vast subject that is too great to cover completely in this single chapter. We look at this in far greater detail throughout our platform

Love for the Photography


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