The Order Of Light
Do I want a house that faces east so I can see the sunrise? Should it face west to see the sunset?
Do I want a house facing north so I can have diffused, soft northern light for Renaissance portraits? Do I want the house facing south with strong angular light that reveals depth and texture?
Do I want it all? Do I want it from all directions to help better tell the story I making photos of?
I am a photographer. I have them all by simply studying light. By watching how it falls on and across my subject. How it can design the tableau, the foundation for the photo.
Watch the light all day long. As you’re driving, shopping, walking to and from your car, on the bike trail, through the door as people enter and exit the restaurant, or just sitting on the coffee shop outdoor patio watching people go by. Watch as the light moves across your table during lunch. Study the shadows, the refractions and the reflections. Where are the sharp-edged shadows? The soft, blurred shadow edges?
Look for its direction, tone, strengths, and weaknesses. Watch how it falls across the subject. As it moves does it change the center of attention on the subject? What becomes highlights? What becomes shadow? How does light separate the subject from the background? How does it blend objects? Do blended objects change their mass and their contribution to or distraction from the composition? Does the composition change as the light changes?
Discovering light brings order to the chaos.
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