Rational Feelings srls
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Christian Bazzo

Media Producer


 

DRAWING WITH THE LIGHT


30 NOVEMBRE 2016

The word “Photography” is the result of the word Photo (from the greek φῶς, φωτός, light) and -graphy (from the greek γραϕία, drawing).
The light, or better, the right light, is the essence of a good picture.
The right light can lluminate an important detail, hide a defect, enhance a pattern, add emphasis or dramaticity.
Learning to draw with lights is the key point to bring this art forward.
But what exactly is “Light”?
The light is a type of energy we can find in different forms: radiated from the sun, from white hot metals in light bulbs, from semiconductors in led lights, from incandescent gasses in flash lights or from a candle’s flame. Different elements giving distinct lights, both in intensity and tonality. Light can also be: hard or soft, warm or cold. These details are all elements to learn and master to be able to obtain every possible combination and solution.
At midday of a sunny day the sunlight is really “hard” and produces clear shadows which amplify the contrast between illuminate and dark areas. Differently, at sunrise and sunset the light becomes soft. Clouds create countless reflexes and the sunbeams passing through aren’t direct anymore but diffused, when this happens the shadows are nearly absent and every side of the subject is evenly illuminated. All these considerations will impact on colors vivacity and details precision.
Another aspect to take in account is the different temperature of the light sources.
Light is made of different wavelengths and only their sum constitutes the white light. But light can be warm or cold in relation to its tonality, i.e. its the wavelength. In fact, normally, sunlight is considered white because it’s made of all the wavelengths of the visible specter. The light of a incandescent lighting or a candlelight is a warm reddish one, tungsten light results greenish and Xeno lamps blueish, which is to say colder. The problem of color temperature is not to be underestimate and can emerge in the moment in which different lights, from distinct elements, are mixed together; later we’ll see how to manage this situation.
To quantify light tonality in photography, as in many other activities, we use the word -Color temperature- and it’s measured in Kelvin (K)
Every light source has its own color temperature and will modify the general tonality in our scene.

Image from Wikipedia
To know, and master, this information can help us obtain right images, from the chromatic point of view, and adjust a scene that counts various light sources with different color temperatures. As showed from the following examples:

Image with color balance set on ambient light (correct for the light source considered)

Image with color balance set on shadow (not coherent with the light source considered)

Image with color balance set on a incandescent light source (not coherent with the light source considered)
Light study is surely the first step to enter the photography world, a complex yet fascinating subject to discover.
Have a good light






Christian Bazzo

Media Producer