Have you ever looked up the definition of the word photography? Have you ever stopped to think about what it means?
: the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or an optical sensor)
From Concise Encyclopedia:
: method of recording permanent images by the action of light projected by a lens in a camera onto a film or other light-sensitive material.
The word itself comes from the Greek root photos, meaning “light” and graphe, meaning “to draw”. So together the word “photography” means “to draw with light”. Cool!
It’s all about the light folks. And there are so many ways to use light in photography that I could never hope to cover them all. And I mean, please. I don’t even know most of them! I would like to take a few posts to cover the basics of natural lighting, with a few ideas for using non-natural light sources that are found all around us. A few you may never have thought of using in your photographs that will surprise (and hopefully delight) you.
In the meantime start watching the light around you. There is no bad light out there. You just need to think about how to use the different kinds of light you see throughout the day. Notice the feelings you have at different times of the day. Observe what the light does to the landscape as it changes from morning to high noon to the golden hour just before sunset. What colors do you see? Whether you photograph landscapes, or people, the basics of light will apply. Become obsessed with watching the light and shadows all around. Start taking photographs of the same subjects at different times of day. All of this observation will help as we explore ways to use the light to get the photographs you want.
Get out there and see the light!