In this lesson I'm going to talk about my very favourite thing, Finding the Light. If there is just one thing you take away from this whole course I want it to be this. Light is absolutely crucial for photography.
Finding the light and using the light to create the images you want are the foundations to great photography. If you have great light then the images you are taking are immediately going to improve.
If you've been part of my taster course some of this may feel familiar. Don't worry. Embrace that feeling and use the opportunity to think even more about the light where you live. I've been studying light for a long time…
The first thing I want you to do today is turn off your flash on your camera and your phone. For the rest of this course we are going to be shooting in natural light.
The next thing you need to do is begin to find your happy spots for photography in your own homes, workplaes etc. To find a happy spot you need to start with a window and turn off any lights in the room. Tables close to windows and mantelpieces in rooms with big windows are great but you can also set up a space on the floor near a window.
In addition to finding your happy spots near windows you also need to become aware of how the light changes throughout the day and throughout the year. Taking a photograph at 8am in August is very different to taking a photograph at 8am in December for example.
It may sound really obvious to talk about light changing as the day or year goes by. Of course it does! But this is really important to remember when you are taking photographs. Once you become tuned into finding the light for your photography you will begin to notice it all the time, and when you see happy light it will really make you smile and want to grab your camera and start shooting!
Today and over the week I want you to notice how the light changes in different rooms in your homes throughout the day. As you get to know the light in your home you will really get to know which windows are going to work the best for you. Or you might have a favourite morning window and a favourite afternoon window. I also want you to notice the light when you are outside. Just begin to be a lot more aware of the light around you as this will help so much when you are looking for good light for your images, whether you are indoors or outdoors.
Of course it isn't just the time of day or time of year that is important to think about but also the weather. On a bright Summer's day you will probably find the light is too harsh near your window and you might want to hang a muslin sheet up to diffuse the light coming in through the window.
When you are photographing outdoors you also need to be aware of the light. Watch how it changes. Look for beautiful dappled light. Look out for gorgeous morning and early evening light, particularly in the Summer. Autumn and Spring are my favourite seasons to photograph in because you can get some lovely sunshine but it's not as harsh as it can be in the Summer. And September (and October on days like today!) is my all time favourite month of the year to photograph in when I'm in the UK.
Try taking images at different times of day, so that you can begin to recognise what good, natural light does for your images.
For the duration of the course, if you tag any images you'd like to share with #makelightbeginners then we'll all be able to see your progress.
Until the next episode xo