Photography is all about light. Direction, color, hardness, it's all about light. To control what happens in your photograph you must control the light. What does that mean? Let's look at some examples of where light used well makes for some great photographs.

What did the artists below do to get these photos? Do you think they were just lucky or was it technique? What kind of planning does it take to create photographs like these?

Look at some of the photos but save some time to explore Flickr's light clusters: Light || Shadow, Sun & Reflection || Silhouette || Backlit

Flickr color slideshow:

CC License: image from Bernat Casero's Flickr stream uses backlight to create the silhouette of the bicycle. Backlight acts to frame the image with light and creates sharp definitions of interest within the photograph. Take a look at the backlight pool on flickr for more examples.

This photograph from dankos' Flickr stream is on one of my all-time favorites.
How many sources of light can you see in this photo? Backlight was used to create the strong light profile. A soft fill light or perhaps a simple reflector was used to put just the right amount of light on the camera side of the faces. The symmetry of the profiles and their placement is not accident. It was done with photo editing software. This image is really two that were pasted together.

CC License: - Paul Nelson - OregonPhotoBlog.orgAs light and dark create tension and depth, so do colors that are opposites, or complementary colors.

Flickr has a whole section devoted to different color groups. One interesting group is the complementary colors group. This photo uses two colors on the opposite side of the color wheel. You can read all about color wheels and color theory in this Wikipedia article.

Colors on opposite sides of this color wheel are complementary colors. Look for them and you'll find them!

CC License: true silhouette leaves only shadows of the subject framing the image with light. This photo from Arunan's flickr stream is a good example as is this second photo from his collection.
Be sure to take some time and browse the Flickr collection of silhouette tagged photos.

When you combine the golden colors available only in the magic hours of early dawn or evening light with back lighting you can get some great photos like the one below from "Your Guide's" Flickr stream.
CC License:
Last modified: Thursday, 24 July 2014, 2:54 PM