Light – the essential component

There is one thing in photography that is more important than anything else – light. Funny thing that, many photographers don’t get it until quite late on. Maybe that sounds daft to you. Maybe it does not. If it does sound daft you need to look carefully at what it is you are photographing. Light is the defining factor of EVERY shot.

The knowledge that light is so important makes it almost essential that any equipment photographers use either controls the light or captures it. Try these for size…

Anything that causes light to be diffused has to be an important aspect of photography. Flash, bright lights and direct strong lights as well as hard light needs to be diffused. Hard light is very unflattering, particularly in portraits. So think of ways to diffuse and soften the light. Here is a detailed entry in the Photographic Glossary, published today, looking at diffusers…
Definition: Diffuser; Diffusion; Diffusion Filter

Photographic Umbrella:
One of the great pieces of equipment that any photographer can have is an umbrella. It is used with a flash to diffuse the light in one of main ways. Here is a new article about the umbrella in the Photographic Glossary…
Definition: Photographic Umbrella

Ring flash:
If it is not about light modifiers like the diffusers and the umbrella, then it is about light sources. Off-camera flash is the most flexible type of flash for working from the camera direct. However, flash is often a harsh and very hard light. A ring flash is also a hard light but can be used close to the subject. It gives off a ring of light. Here is more detail about the Ring Flash in a new article today…
Definition: Ring Flash
Open faced light:
The harshest light is a hard light. An open faced light tends to be the harshest artificial source of light since the face of the light is exposed directly to the subject with no diffusion screen in the way. There may even be a focusing lens to make it even more concentrated. Here is a definition for this light…
Definition: Open Face Light; Undiffused Light; Open Light

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

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