Learning photography is about understanding light.
There is a ready source of learning about light you see every day. Photographs and television provide valuable lessons in light. You can learn a lot by observing how light is used in different productions. Look for the way light is cast, which direction it comes from, its colour and it’s intensity. Also look for the way it is used to create mood and atmosphere – these often show off how shadows and hard light or soft light are used. Good producers of still photography, television and film are masters of creating scenes with and manipulating light. Looking carefully at the light itself in such productions will provide great insights for your own photography.
[More about eyes: The Eyes Have It… nine ways to emphasize eyes]
Portrait Reverse Engineering – It’s In The Eyes
In the video we see one aspect of how to see the light. I have written about catchlights before. They are the bright spots in peoples eyes that are reflections of the nearby lights. In this video an examination of catchlights is used to understand the nature of the light used in the portrait session. This is a clever and interesting way to understand portrait lighting. It is also something of a study in television too. Directors use lights to create catchlights for nearly all close shots. So watch out for them as you watch television.