The Essence Of Photography – Light

Coming at photographic creativity utilizing some artistic principles allows you to view the world through a slightly different lens than most. All the tips, tutorials, tricks and techniques that you can easily learn by doing a quick online search are predicated on one underlying principle, photography is about painting with light. In fact the actual word photography itself comes from a combination of two Greek words: Photo, meaning light and graphia: meaning writing or drawing. Hence photography equals painting with light – literally.

Light sits at the heart of photography, without it there would not be any! This is photography at its most fundamental core. Without light it doesn’t matter about composition, subject or the myriad number of settings available to us as photographic creatives, and yet it is one of the last things that a lot of photographers actually think about.

Keeping in mind the message that lies behind the imagery that you are trying to create is key in this process. The best lighting does not always mean sunrise or sunset. Perhaps the mood that you are trying to portray is one of harshness – midday to mid-afternoon sun! Or the darkness and bleakness in a scene – the lighting condition just prior to a storm. The conditions need to complement and enhance the mood, feelings and emotions that you are trying to capture in that one split moment.

Sometimes we get blessed with the correct natural lighting conditions at just the right moment. Other times we’re not so lucky. Be patient and don’t rush because all it takes is a couple of minutes in the right conditions for an ordinary photo to become an absolute masterpiece. This is one of the key differences between a hobbyist who just ‘snaps and captures a moment in time’ and someone that is passionate about their creativity.

A burning desire to capture not just the moment but to capture and relay all the emotion, feelings and the story behind the scene.

Everybody’s journey in life is different with completely unique experiences. Some photographers or as I like to call them, creative artists have the time and freedom to be able to visualize a scene in their minds and literally wait weeks, months or even years for the correct lighting and conditions to happen to make their masterpiece. Others don’t have that option and that’s neither good nor bad.

Sometimes we just have to make the best out of the moments that we do have, as long as we all keep following the light!