Understanding Exposure in Digital Camera Part 1
Light and Exposure
Photo Tip Friday March 7, 2014
All artists use raw materials to work with and create a piece of art. For example a painter needs brushes, paints and canvas to make a painting.
Photography as Art
The word photography derives from Greek and means Painting With Light, which is an excellent way of describing what we do. I always use the analogy in my workshops that our canvas is camera media (film or digital), our paint is light and exposure works as our brushes!
Given that light is the single most important element in a photograph, it’s astonishing how few photographers pay any real attention to it. Most of the time we’re so eager to press the shutter release we don’t rarely give it a second thought. You can have the best camera, lenses, accessories and film in the world, but without understanding the role of light you won’t get very far. And without the correct exposure you can not produce a good photo. In the same way other artists fully understand their raw materials, photographers have to learn to work with light to be successful. In this tutorial we will look at the ways daylight can vary, what subjects each lighting type is good for and how you can improve on the light that’s already there.
1- Bright Sunny Day:
I-Early morning or late afternoon provide nice directional shadows which help you create the third dimension in your images. If you are shooting landscapes these times give you a golden light with very good contrast and colour. If you shoot portraits (people) you can be confident that this light is very flattering (ie: no harsh shadows under the eyes, etc) and can concentrate more on how to pose your subjects and make them feel comfortable.
II-Midday: It’s recommended to avoid midday sunshine as the light is too harsh, resulting in faded colours as well as excessive contrast and deep shadows. If you have to shoot at midday, consider using of some kind of light modifiers such as reflectors or flashes.
2- Overcast Light:
This is perfect soft light for portrait photography. A bright overcast day creates magical light for photographers and allows plenty of control over the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to capture the details that you are after.
Sign up for our Outdoor Photography Techniques to learn more about the quality of light and exploring skills for how to manage the light. This is a full hands-on class with lots of time to practice and ask questions from your instructor.
In this series of ‘Photography as Art’ we have seen how our paints (the light) can dramatically influence our medium. Next up we’ll discuss our brushes (in this case: exposure). Stay tuned and be sure to join us for my next article about Exposure.
Ted and the Omnilargess Team
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