Light is one of the most important elements of creating a photograph that stands out. Light not only determines brightness and darkness; it also defines tone, mood and the felt sense of the image.

Learning to control and manipulate light correctly is primarily the photographer's job. This week you will learn how to feel the light and dance with it, so you can be capture the fullest expression of yourself - WITHOUT the hesitations and insecurities during your photo shoot.

What To Expect

  1. The Art of the Selfie - learn how to capture your best side and what is flattering for your face.

  2. The Art of Lighting - learn the different qualities of light, how to look for them, and how to utilize them so you can have creative control in your shoot.

  3. The Art of Atmosphere - learn how to create mood with lighting so you can bring out the right emotion for each photo.

What You’ll Receive

  1. Selfie Collection - create a collection of self-portraits you can be proud of. Connect deeper with your audience and enhance your know, like, trust factor by letting your people see you.

  2. Illumination - by the end of the week you’ll know how the light looks and feels on your face so you can be a confident director in your photo shoot.

  3. Storytelling - learn how to utilize the light so each photo tells the story you want it to tell.

Creating directional lighting

The direction of lighting can be set by either changing your position relative to the light, or by moving the light source.If you're working with sunlight, then you're not going to have much luck moving the light source. Instead, you must change your position to put the sun where you want it. The problem with the sun is that at midday you're not going to have much luck. The sun will always be giving top lighting. But earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon, getting side, front, or back lighting from the sun is pretty easy.

One solution to creating directional lighting during the day with sunlight is to position your subject in an area of shadow. This way they are not receiving any direct light from the sun. Then use a reflector to reflect light at the subject, creating the directional light you want. This will require a stand or assistant to hold the reflector in place while you take the photos though.

Front Lighting

Front lighting usually gives a relatively 'flat' look, with little shadow. It is not dramatic or evoking of a particular feeling.

Due to the lack of shadows front lighting gives, it can be particularly useful for photographing older people when you want to de-emphasize their wrinkles. Instead of bringing out the texture, front lighting hides it and is considered the most flattering.

Front lighting can be easily achieved just by having your face and body fully in the light source.

Alternatively, front lighting from the sun can be used early morning and late afternoon. Just photograph your subject so that you have your back to the sun.

Side Lighting

Side lighting is a good way to bring out the texture in a subject. Lighting from above or below are both technically forms of side lighting. But usually when we think about side lighting we mean lighting from the left or right of the subject.

For more dramatic images with areas of strong shadow, side lighting works very well. For portrait photography, a point half-way between side lighting and front lighting is often used. That is, the light is positioned at approximately a 45° angle from the photographer. This helps bring out texture and gives areas of shadow, without the shadow areas being overly large or dark.

Back Lighting

Back lighting is not often used as a single light source. As the name suggests, it involves lighting the subject from behind, which will not give any lighting on the front of the subject. So an additional fill light is often used to add some front or side light.

Used by itself, strong backlighting will typically create a silhouette. Backlighting happens when the light source is behind the subject. This means that the light is directly in front of the camera, with the subject in between. The photo of the dancer sitting was lit with two windows behind him, lighting him like a halo around his head and body. This line of light around a subject is called “rim light,” as it creates a rim of light outlining the subject.

Week 2

Learning Light

Indoor Light

Artificial Light

Outdoor Light