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. Assignment: 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

Backlit image of flower from awfulsaras flickr streamThis image from Barbara Fischer's Flickr stream uses backlight to bring out color and texture of the leaf. 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.

my girl with a pearl earringThe next photo, also from Garibaldi Dantas's Flickr stream uses side lighting to paint the little girl's face and side with light. The strong side light creates depth with the shadows it produces. Painting your subject with light is as much about creating darkness and shadow as it is about light. Balance and tension in a photograph can be created by line, texture, color and light. Here Garibaldi did a wonderful job of creating light and dark with an electric splash of blue color. As light and dark create tension and depth, so do colors that are opposites, or complementary colors. Here the blue hat and warm flesh tones of the subject's face do that.

Backlit silhouette...A 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.
Backlit silhouette... 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.
Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 12:12 PM