Unnatural Light

Light is fickle. It needs to be wooed.

Light is fickle. It needs to be wooed.

185°  Photons are the real challenge in photography. Too many can be interesting, but not usually. Too few can also be interesting, but not usually. A good photographer understands how to take images that are not too exposed, nor under exposed. A great photographer understands photons and their characteristics. The great photographer knows that beyond intensity, is direction, temperature, and filtering.

Photons simplified

Photons simplified

A photographer can use sunlight (natural light.) or existing artificial light (unnatural light,) or added light (flash, etc.,) or subtracted light (filters, etc.) Black and white photography simplifies the image equation because color is reduced to shades of black and white. The rest of the spectrum is out of the equation.

Sadly, few photographers ever gain mastery of light because it takes decades of experimentation to understand light and how to use it effectively. Most ‘professional’ photographers learn a few tricks and then use them over and over to empress their customers.

Digital photography opens up the opportunity to push the boundaries farther because we can see the results instantly and don’t have the expense of developing pictures. For the first time have the science and the technology to master the photon in images and yet, with cameras in the hands and pockets of billions of people, the ‘Selfie’ seems to be the icon of the advancement of photography.


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