All About Light!

21 October 2019 | Uncategorized

I was invited to speak at a grade 4 class about photography, and light. If you’ve ever chatted with us about our work, you know that light is EVERYTHING to us. We have to choose the time of day that works best for our photos. Light is SO important to photography. Cool light adds so much interest to the shot.

Waiting until later in the day for photos means we get really nice, soft light like the one below, with no harsh shadows anywhere on them.

There is lots of different ways to use the sun to make a shot really interesting.

Same location, one in the evening and one in the morning. It is so important that we know where the light is going to be.

The Leachmans | Spring Photos in Edmonton
The Leachmans | Spring Photos in Edmonton
Heintz Family in the Edmonton Blossoms

When we know we’re not going to get amazing light, which is mid day, it’s up to us to find locations that don’t give us bad, splotchy light. There is nothing more distracting than light speckled all over a person. Think about when light comes through trees, the light hits you in some spots and not in others because it’s coming through the leaves. We don’t want that!

2 kids at Edith Cavell glacier.
Callum and Max on the dock by Spirit Island, Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park.

And sometimes, capturing a moment is more important than getting the perfect shot. And so you might get shadows or dappled light on people. And sometimes that’s okay. What’s important is you start seeing it.

The sun being high isn’t always a bad thing! It’s all about using the light. Shadows on faces might be distracting, but how fun is this shot of Max and his grandad racing their shadows.

Photographing people at sunset also means the light can get beautiful and add a whole other feeling to a photo. Can you imagine how different the image below would feel if it were taken at noon, when the sun was high, the water looked blue, and harsh shadows fell everywhere?

Learning about light for us means we can take that knowledge and use it in our studio. Gareth has worked really hard learning different techniques to use in our studio with artificial lighting.

The lighting might be really subtle but look at how it makes the baby the main focus, and the parents are darker.

Just moving your light around creates such different images.

Then we kept learning, and tried this out:

A really cool thing is that we can take the knowledge of artificial light outside, and make our outdoor photos look even better. Especially when the sun isn’t cooperating.

Now that we have a really good understanding for light, and everything we choose to do with out clients revolves around light, we choose locations purely based on where the light will be. This also means that we can make cool images like this one.

Once your eye starts looking for light everywhere, you can make some really fun photos. The sun being high in the sky isn’t always the best, but sometimes it works out to look cool.

Now, photography isn’t’ JUST about the light around us. It’s also about choosing how much light we allow into our camera to create different shots.

Young boys biking in the Athabasca river.

You want to convey an emotion in a photograph. Sometimes that means really bright, colourful shots. Sometimes that means playing with the shadows. At the end of the day though, watching where the light is around you will help you create really fun, really cool shots.