Master Photographers worry about appropriate lighting

Skater 1You may think that the light is the light, because its all you have when you have your camera to hand. Time of day and year makes a huge difference to the direction and angle of light and hence its appropriateness to the picture.

Think about the direction and quality of lighting and the shadows it will create in your pictures.

The direction and quality of lighting is everything to a master photographer.

Do you need to learn about the different qualities of lighting: direction, strength, clarity, etc?

If you want to learn and progress do a word cluster around the descriptions of light – see how many different ones you can think of or find.

How appropriate is the lighting for the pictures you want to MAKE not just take.

Find out where and when the sunrise and sunset will be with an App called “The Photographers Ephemeris”. Available for ipad and android.

Why am I talking about lighting in this post?

Because I wanted to do a post to say that I am doing a talk to the Royal Leamington Spa Photographic Society tomorrow evening and I have packed up my laptop ready to load in the car tomorrow morning. So I thought I would recycle a previously used picture posted a long time ago. So I chose this one called “The skater” taken from my kitchen window one winters morning a long time ago.

The thing that struck me about the picture was the contra-jour (back lighting) hence why I started to write about the key role of appropriate lighting in a picture.

I have also used this phrase before: amateurs worry equipment, professionals about the fee and Masters worry about the light. If you do landscapes, record the light not the landscape!

Therefore learn to appreciate and understand appropriate lighting and everything else will fall in to place.

What was the key phrase in this post? Answers on a post card.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014


7 responses to Master Photographers worry about appropriate lighting

  1. Bill Allsopp Photography says:

    I could not agree more, this is a point I keep making when I give talks.

    “Light glorifies everything. It transforms and ennobles the most commonplace and ordinary subjects. The object is nothing; light is everything.”
    Leonard Misonne

    Liked by 1 person

    • andybeel says:

      Hi Bill

      Thanks for your kind comments and you given me a name and a quote that I have not come across before but that is always interesting and one the joys of photography. Andy

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bill Allsopp Photography says:

        You are welcome, he produced some super work, especially for the time. It is worth Googling him.


    • andybeel says:

      Hi Paula sitting in a darkened room making comments is easy on a blog but in practice when you see a picture you just take it and hopefully the light and the subject are in one and the same place. Andy


  2. Adrian Lewis says:

    Love the picture, Andy! Also agree about the light – but there is also the point that was knocked into me long ago (in a Mike Gosling article I think) that, as photographers, we can try to make the best of the prevailing conditions. Should my mind be set upon taking a certain type of shot for which the prevailing conditions are not right, well there’s always the option of packing up and going home. But I tend to go at things by just attempting to use what’s available. Adrian


    • andybeel says:

      Hi Adrian thanks for your comments and I think there are a few possibilities. One is to recognise that the light is not right and go home. Another would be to carry on regardless and make the best of an imperfect job. Another possibility would be to recognise the lighting wasn’t quite as you’d hoped and work out when the lighting will be optimum. But but I do agree that generally the lighting is the lighting and we photographers carry on regardless. Andy


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