The importance of light to photography

- Oct 21, 2018 -

The importance of light to photography

The photographer's "God" should be light, because without light, there will be no photographic art, no light, and even if we have the best equipment and ideas, we will not see the result. Our imagination is like the wings of a bird, and light is the wind that holds the wings. Barbara Morgan said: "Light gave me creative shapes and scripts, which is why I became a photographer." Photography originated in light, and the balance and interaction of light and shadow formed the fundamentals of photography. As a photographer, pre-shooting is to capture light, while post-processing is to adjust the intensity and distribution of light on the photo.

The word photography comes from the light and the ancient Greek. In a photo, light and shadow, reflection, flare, halo and even the light source itself can be used as the subject of photography. The intensity of light, the size, shape, temperature and direction of light, quality, and color can all affect the photo. which performed. Any change in the parameters of light or the influence of the environment will change the content conveyed by the work. In a photo, brightness is not only the existence of light in reality, but also the steering wheel of the photographer's control theme. Brightness is emotional, especially in black and white photography. As the only modeling tool on the screen, controlling the brightness controls the light. Does this magic sound great?


light source

Human beings are light-sensitive animals. This is not to say that humans produce chemical changes like film, but that people are very subjective in their judgment of brightness. Brightness has never been a simple shading problem in photography, and each brightness gives the picture a specific emotional color. In the picture above, brightness has a very large impact on people's emotional judgment.

In the early shooting, the light comes from natural light sources such as the sun, the moon, the stars, and the artificial light source. The control of the brightness is mainly done by the exposure control and the light source layout, and the camera only records and cannot make the light source that does not exist. In post-production, brightness control can be used to change the properties of the light source, even to create a light source that does not exist. Of course, the light source needs to have a full understanding of light, which is the power of the later stage.

Photography inherits the rich resources of Western painting history. The precise perspective and the relationship between light and shadow of classical plastic art can be carried forward in photography and obtained scientific confirmation. Therefore, the history of Western photography is based on the strong foundation of painting, and it can be developed smoothly with only the attention to technology. A photographer can easily gain an aesthetic recognition as long as it does not clearly violate the traditional aesthetic rules. In terms of the processing of photographic elements, it can be said that the shackles of technology are much more serious than the constraints of aesthetics.

To understand the importance of light to photographic styling, let's look at how traditional painting uses light to create realism. Early painting masters were skilled in the manufacture and control of light sources, and Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres were few Mastering the ability to create light sources and shadows, the rationality of the light source in their paintings is the result of an in-depth observation of the true light propagation effects.