Exploring Light and Color

CC License: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeyp/3995604104/Photography is all about light. Knowing about different kinds of light and how you can use light in your photography can make a big difference. Just take a look at the images below.

This photograph uses a single source of lighting from the side of the subject. The light paints her face in light and shadow as well as creating a warm color and feeling for the photograph.
music and light

This photo of Erin uses side lighting to get a similar effect.
Erin's photo
You can use soft side lighting. Consider this nice photograph of a child taken by Sylvan. The shadows are not harsh but you can tell that the light is coming from one side.

These are both examples of side lighting. Side lighting adds depth and texture to the subject. The shadows can be dramatic and interesting. Even lighting that leaves little shadow is called soft lighting.
Sylvan's light kid

This photo is an example of hard lighting. You can experiment with your photo editing software to get these results.

You assignment this week is to experiment with light. I'd like to see examples of front, back, side lighting and examples of both hard and soft lighting.

I'd also like to see examples of different qualities of light. Early morning light is different than mid day light and the light at dusk has its own qualities.

Liz portrait
Light Scavenger HUNT! Take your camera and experiment with light. Upload your best effort from each of these categories:
  • front lighting
  • side lighting
  • back lighting
  • hard lighting
  • soft lighting
  • dawn lighting
  • dusk lighting
  • mid-day lighting
The face makes for a perfect subject for light experiments. You are encouraged to use other students in class for this assignment. Good photographs of people are always interesting.

flag backlight