Light and Shadow

Use the quality, strength and direction of light to enhance your images.

Good photography is about a lot more than just pointing your camera in the right direction and pressing the shutter button. There’s composition to think about, there’s subject, there’s exposure, and there’s timing. But the most important quality in any photograph is the light.

Photography is also about the strength of the light, the direction of the light, the quality of the light, and the absence of light. These are all very different parts of the same equation. Without mastering all of them, we can't master photography.

Light in Many Forms

The below image is a great interplay between light and shadow. If the sun hadn't been low in the sky, this photo would have been completely different - no shadows on the wall or floor, and a lot less interesting. Consider also the choice to turn the image into black and white - emphasizing the light and shadows. Picking the source and location of the light, and thus the shadow, is a key element of great photography. And we'll cover it all this month!


Light and Shadow Course Content

  • Day 1: Intro to Light and Shadow
  • Day 2: Black and White Photography
  • Day 3: Know your Light Source
  • Day 4: Setting the Mood
  • Day 5: Dominant Whites
  • Day 6: Dominant Blacks
  • Day 7: When Light Becomes the Enemy
  • Day 8: Light and Shadow as Subjects
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