The lifeblood of photography

George Eastman: “Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”

George Eastman was right - a photographer has got to understand light. A photographer has to know how light works and how it affects the image of any given subject that will result from releasing the shutter.

Light is at once simple yet complex. The more a photographer knows about light, the more ability he/she has to fine tune the resulting images they will make using a given kind of light or light source.

Every aspect of light will affect the outcome of a photograph. The temperature of a light source affects the way the colors of a subject are rendered. The intensity of a light source will affect the appearance of the subject. Specular light produces a harsh, strident look; diffuse light produces a soft, silky look.

Each kind of light has its place in the scheme of things. It is in knowing how and when to utilize and modify a given light source that photographic craftsmanship becomes a factor in the image making process.

Eastman referred to light as the key to photography. Light seems more like the lifeblood of photography; without light, there is no subject to be seen and no image to be made. When there is no light, the subtleties of color and contrast fade into the nothingness of black. If there is no light at all, there is no photograph.

Light is the lifeblood of the photographic process.

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