Artists look at the world differently than most. For example, an artist can enter a space and look around intently, noticing where the light is coming from, seeing patterns in the colors, noting how the elements in the room are placed and spaced, intuitively sensing what occurs in the space, and perhaps moving around the room to gain a variety of perspectives. I think artists see differently because they take the time to look and notice, and are creative, continually seeing things anew. We can learn to see like an artist too, simply by practicing! I want to explore what it is like to look at life from different perspectives and rediscover the wonders of the world.
Learn to see light
Today, I want to focus on light. I want you to notice how the sunlight streams through the windows of the different rooms of your home at different times. Light is constantly changing around us! What types of light do you find interesting or inspiring? Do you love the pattens between the light and shadows? Do you love the golden hues around sunrise and sunset? My hope is that soon you will begin seeing spectacular lighting in ordinary spaces and places.
Types of natural light
Once you learn to see light, it can transform the quality of your photos! Let’s examine six types of natural light and also check out an indoor and outdoor example of each type.
Front light is when the light hits the front of your subject. This also means that the photographer has his/her back to the light. Be careful that the light isn’t causing your subject to squint.
Back light is when the light hits the back of your subject. This also means that the photographer is facing into the light. Many, including me, love the look of the light highlights around the outside edge of the subject. It’s also possible to use backlight to create a silhouette.
Side light is when the light hits the side of your subject. This means that half of your subject’s face will be lit while the other half will be in shadow.
Golden hour occurs an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. When the sun is close to the horizon, there is a specific direction in the light and there is a golden hue. I love golden hour!
When light isn’t harsh, it is considered soft. It’s easy to notice soft light because the shadows do not have a distinct line.
When light is strong it is accompanied with harsh shadows. It’s not my favorite type of light, but I do enjoy working with it to create a variety in my work.
Questions and next steps
Send your questions in the comment section below. I love photography and am happy to help others on their journey. The next lesson will be on learning to see color. Stay tuned. 🙂
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Let’s work together to create beautiful images that you can treasure for a lifetime!