Lighting is one of the more difficult topic to master in photography. Our eyes see a scene very differently than a camera. Seeing the light and capturing it are two very different things. Understanding how light interacts with the subject, the environment, and the camera are basics which every good photographer must understand.
Once those basics become second nature, the next step is to be able to manage or manipulate the light so one can “get the shot” even under challenging conditions. If you are serious about increasing your photographic skills, a new book from Rocky Nook, The Art of Photographic Lighting by Eib Eibelshaeuser, will help.
The book has solid introduction on color theory and visual perception. It also does an excellent job discussing the technical aspects of different lamps (incandescent, LED, etc…), artificial lighting options, and gear. However, what we found most helpful were the discussions on shadow management. We spend a good deal of our day doing product shots in the studio. It is always helpful to pick up new ideas and techniques.
Of course, Eibelshaeuser is not just a studio guy. Quite a bit of time was spent on handling the challenges of outdoor, night-time, and nature photography. The only subject not covered is lighting for closeup and macro-photography. The omission is understandable as it is a highly specialized sub-topic with vastly different parameters.
When we want to take a break from studio work, we look for photographic opportunities outside. These shots were of the RainyDayGarden next to the office. The sun was out, but a storm was moving in. The shifting clouds constantly changed how things were lit. What looked great a few moments ago could suddenly turn dull and flat. It was a great way to sharpen our shooting reflexes.
Fall colors have begun to peak around Boston and photographic opportunities are everywhere. The light and colors won’t be around for long. It’s time to get out there and have some fun!