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Good Light Pt. 4

lanzarote photography workshop


What is 'Good Light'? It's light that works best for the photo you're taking. Actually all light is good, the question is does it work for what you're photographing right now?

Here's an exercise for you which will help you learn how the same light will work better for some things than others. And as the light changes what worked only a minute ago now doesn't.

Get your self some everyday items like a wine bottle, a flower and some pebbles and arrange a still life composition with them on a tray or chopping board so they can easily be moved from one patch of light to another.

Get out your camera and photograph the same still life composition with the light coming from behind you, then from in front of you, in the shade, in a doorway with light coming from the side, same doorway but turn it and yourself round 90 degrees so the lights coming from the side, front, back etc. Then compare the photos. The flower might look great in one shot but the wine bottle and stones look rubbish. The bottle might look great when it's backlit and the stones rubbish....

TIP: Take two of each shot and include a post-it note in one image with a diagram of where the light's coming from so you know what you did.

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commasopencommascloseI have completed another in person beginners course prior to UBC, I have to say that UBC knocked the spots off my other experience. One example is that previously my approach was driven by individual exposure settings producing an often disappoint outcome ... now I start with the desired image driven by composition and light before I even get to the camera.

- Ian Watkins -