Picking lighting conditions

Figure 4.1 The strong, contrasty light from the sun creates sharp-edged shadows in your pictures. The shadows' dark tone and graphic shape mean that they play an important part in the balance and design of the photograph.

Most photographs (especially when you begin) are taken under 'existing light' conditions. This term means natural or artificial lighting as it exists for your subject at the time, rather than flash or lamps in the studio, which are used to provide a fully controlled lighting set-up (see the appendix pages at the rear of the book). It's easy to regard the lighting by which you see the world around you simply as illumination - something taken for granted. But as well as giving the eye the basic ability to see, it can be responsible for communicating strong emotional, subjective responses too. In fact, the effect of lighting on a subject is often the reason for taking a picture as much as the subject itself.

We have all experienced the way the appearance of something is transformed under different weather conditions or at different times of the day, due to changes in the direction, color, quality (e.g. overcast or direct sunlight) and contrast-producing effect of the light. You may not be able to exert control over these existing light conditions, but excellent pictures often result from you recognizing the right time and best camera position, choices which greatly influence the whole mood of a picture.

0 0

Post a comment