Light is the angel of Photography

In the series “The Story Behind a Photo” I will focus on the importance of light in Photography.

Without light no photo. As simple as that. Everything starts with light. On film, the emulsion layers are used to make celluloid film taking up the light passing through the lens. This light forms what we see. On digital sensors sensors, the principle stays the same, just using a sensor to receive light.  The same principle as when it started with the first photographic capture taken in 1826 or 1827 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. The very first surviving photograph was made by capturing light using a technique Niépce invented and named heliography.
The technique used produced one-of-a-kind images on metal plates that were treated with light-sensitive chemicals. So everything depends on the light in photography.

Hunting the light

That is why we as photographers always should hunt the light. Finding light is not as difficult as it may sound because only if it is pitch dark there is no light. A simple light bulb in a lamp will be enough to illuminate a face or a glass on a table in a restaurant.

A cloudy day adds light. Just a softer pleasing light than compared to the harsh sun. Light filtered through the sky or curtains in the room adds pleasing tones and soft contours. Sun from a bright day adds contrast and clear lines, and it bounces from windows or light walls redirecting light.

We as photographers just need to hunt down the light and observe where it is, adding interest and form to our photos.

Light is the angel of Photography

The picture from a restaurant in Odense, Denmark, was taken indoors on a sunny day. The sun is filtered through large windows and bounces from the floor and walls. Like a giant reflector softening up the light.

Finding these spots of interest where light is present is part of finding photo opportunities. If you hit the streets or just bring your camera around on a stroll. Light will be there, and it’s just about finding where it’s nice and then focusing on a situation or scenery. Small or big.

Summilux 50mm f1.4 mounted on Sony A7rII

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