Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Studying light

One thing that I've only lately noticed about photos that I consider to be really awesome is that the source of light is natural daylight, but not glaring sunlight. (I remember as a kid being made to stand, staring into the sun, and being expected to keep my eyes open and my face natural and smiling for the picture, and I remember how awful and uncomfortable it was.) More like diffuse sunlight. As I've looked through the shots on my camera, I've also realized that I like the shots taken in the late afternoon when the sun is shining at an angle on the subject.

I took this pic of my dear little Buttercup a couple of weeks ago. I think the light looks good - we were outside, and she was sitting in the shade of a tree. The colors aren't washed out, there aren't any weird shadows, and she isn't squinting into the sunshine. I'm still learning how to use my camera but I'm happy with the picture, and I learned a little bit about lighting.

I think becoming a good photographer is like becoming a good anything else - it will take practice, study, feedback, analysis, and more practice. I have no illusions that I'll become a world-famous photographer but I want to learn to take great shots of my family and friends and other things I like. I'm tired of looking at my photos and thinking that they're mostly garbage, and as I've studied them, I've realized that one of the major problems with lots of them is the lighting. So I think I'll try taking more pics in the next few weeks with different kinds of light: lamplight, fluorescent light, direct sunlight, natural light on overcast days, etc. and see what I can come up with. The thought of learning and experimenting with this gives me a little thrill. It also gives me something to blog about.

And that makes me happy.

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