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Week 4


Light & the Atmosphere To get to us, light from the sun has to pass through the atmosphere which acts like a filter for the light.

Intro to Photography

How did you find last week's assignment?

with Denni Russel

At sunrise and sunset light has to pass through more of the atmosphere than it does at midday.


This increased filtration makes the colour of the light early and late in the day "warm" when compared to the "cool" colour of the light when the sun is higher in the sky.


Light & Time of Day

Light & Time of Day

Light & Time of Day

Which image was made first?

5:49 a.m. 5:51 a.m. Same Day Sunrise Sunset

Temperture of Light

5:20 a.m.? 6:04 a.m.?

Light & Film

Light & Film

• Light is measured according to the Kelvin Scale.

When shooting with a film camera you have to think about the type of light you are using.

• Noon Light is approximately 5500K (blue). • Sunrise and sunset are between 1000K and 3000K (red / orange). • Bluish lights have high numbers. • Reddish lights have low numbers. Why is this important to know?

Light & Film

Most film is calibrated for day-light. That means its colour balance works best with bluish lighting like you get at around noon. The film canister will say whether its daylight or tungsten based film.

White Balance

A purplish filter (named a fluorescent filter) allows us to shoot under fluorescent lighting.

Find your white balance button.

However, we can change a particular setting that will allow us to capture the colours that we see in a natural looking fashion.

Each setting represents a different Kelvin scale number.

Black and White film isn’t affected in the same way. You don't need filters to correct for different light types.

Quality of Light When we talk about light, we break it down into many different categories. The quality of the light affects the mood and feeling of a photo. The two main categories of quality of light are:

Time to play... Find your white balance options.

White Balance

Our cameras don't let us 'change the film' for different light sources.

This setting is called the white balance.

White Balance

Tungsten film is calibrated for incandescent light. It will give you a blue picture when used in daylight.

The white balance acts like an in camera filter set. It adjusts how the sensor records the light.

For film cameras, we use colour-correction filters when we don't have access to different kinds of film. A blue filter (named 80A) will allow you to use daylight film under tungsten lights and make a natural looking photo.

Photographing indoors with incandescent lighting (regular light bulbs) and without using a flash, daylight film will over-represent the reds in the scene – That’s why your pictures sometimes look too orange indoors!

Hard Light & Soft Light

Daylight - 5200 K Shade - 7000 K Cloudy / Twighlight / Sunset - 6000 K Tungsten - 3200 K Fluorescent - 4000 K Flash - 6000 K Custom

Direct vs. Soft Light

Hard Light

Hard Light

Soft Light

Hard light is very moody!

- often multidirectional - soft edges - smooth appearance

It is: - stark (doesn't cover the whole scene) - usually comes from one direction - makes clearly defined edges

Lamp Shade Cloudy day Window curtain Soft box Diffuser Bounced light

Examples of Hard Light: A flash light Spot light Bare light bulb On camera Flash Bright, sunny day

Hard lighting lets us focus on the boxer, his muscles and those around him. Because it doesn't flood the entire room, we can't see details in the crowd.

Direct vs. Diffused Light

Front Lighting

Back Lighting

Front lighting means that the light source shines from directly behind the photographer’s back onto the subjects FRONT.

Back lighting means that the light source is shinning directly into the photographer’s lens coming from BEHIND the subject.

What happens when you shoot a front lit portrait?

Little detail can be seen on the front of a back lit subject.

Front lighting also tends to flatten the look of a subject.

Creates a stunning contrast.

Back Lighting

Front vs. Back Lighting

- the bed-sheet approach to macro - drawing the curtains - opening the curtains - cloudy afternoons - sunny days

Back Lighting

How would you create a silhouette?

Side Lighting Side lighting means that the light source is shinning toward the SIDE of the subject (either side). Side lighting gives a sense of shape to a subject.

f 4, 1/2500

The cow blocks the sun...

Lens Flare

Lens Hoods

Sometimes light sneaks into your shot and it doesn't line up with the other light that makes the main part of your image. This light stays to the side of the photo. It will often create LENS FLARE.

Great for architecture and landscapes. Creates nasty nose shadows when at right angles to person's face. 45 degree angle is used in studio to give a sense of shape to a face.

You can see this effect when looking through the view finder. A LENS HOOD helps to block out this extra light.

Flash Photography

Flash Photography

A flash is sometimes called "bottled sunlight".

Flash units have the same colour temperature as daylight.

Proper use of a flash will allow you to make photographs in situations you otherwise wouldn't be able to shoot in.

That's why so many flash photos look unnatural.

These lens hoods cover the range from wide angle through to telephoto. The 'tulip' shaped middle hood allows for both wide angle and telephoto photographing.

Flash Photography

Most of your cameras will have a flash built right in to it. We call these pop-up flashes. They are low powered and have few features.

Flash Photography

Flash Photography

Guide Numbers (G/N) The Guide Number tells you how powerful your flash is. They are usually written in meters first and then in feet. A flash might have a G/N of 25. That means it is effective for up to 25 meters!

Other flash units attach to the hot shoe. These flashes have more power and more features.

Flash Fall Off

The Good Old Days Flash units today are much more user friendly than they were a few years ago. A flash has a direct relationship with your ISO setting and your aperture setting.

The farther away from the flash the less light there will be. Higher ISO numbers will be able to make an image out of those smaller amounts of light. ISO 400 is the most commonly used setting for flash photography.


Evaluative Through The Lens.

It used to be that the aperture and ISO were the only ways to control the look of the light from a flash.

The Good Old Days Since the flash fires its light at such a fast speed it usually isn't affected by the shutter speed. In the past, the flash would generate the exact same flash output every time. That meant that after you chose an ISO the only other option for control was to set the aperture. The farther away from your subject you were, the larger the aperture would need to be and visa versa.

ETTL & Pop-Up

Sync Speed

Your pop-up flash uses ETTL.

There is a limit to your shutter speed options when shooting with flash.

For the most part, you can just let it do its thing!

Most cameras have what is called a sync speed.

1) Firstly, they take the information from the light meter and your focus point.

There are some times when you will want to adjust the flash output a bit. We'll come back to that later.

This is the fastest possible shutter speed that you can shoot with and still make a proper photograph.


Today's flash units are much more sophisticated. Not only can they do most of the work for you, but they can also change their power of their output and they can adjust how long they will fire for.


2) Then, they fire a quick pre-flash and take another meter reading from that.

Your digital camera shouldn't allow you to choose an incorrect speed with a flash.

3) Lastly, the flash fires with what should be a good output level.

What's your sync speed?

Sync Speed

Red Eye

Red Eye Red eye is the illumination of the blood vessels in the back of your eyes.

Here's what happens when a shutter speed of 1/125th was used on a camera with a sync speed of 1/60th...

When your pupils dilate (open up) in a dark room, it's easy for the light from a flash to travel through your eye. There are two main methods for red-eye reduction. Anyone know what causes Red Eye? The first is to use a pre-flash.

The second, and mot effective method is to use a flash bracket.

Red Eye

Red Eye

A flash bracket

Red Eye

Bounce Flash

Bounce Flash

Bounce Flash

Bounce Flash

Bounce Flash

Bounce Flash

Fill Flash

Fill Flash

Fill Flash

Red eye isn't the only problem with direct flash light. Having a powerful, hard, light go off in someone's face can cause a flat looking photo with distracting shadows in the background. When using a supplementary flash, you can often change the direction and angle you are firing the light at.

When shooting outside we often find ourselves in positions where the light isn't perfect.

If we don't have a reflector handy, or if a reflector just won't do the trick, we can use our flash to get the shot.

Maybe there are shadows darkening out subject. Maybe the person you are photographing is back lit.

However, if you were to take a flash photograph on a bright sunny day, and the camera were to use the full output your flash is capable of, then you would end up with an overexposed, unnatural looking photo.

Maybe the scene just isn't bright enough.

Fill Flash

Ambient Light & Flash

ETTL should automatically reduce the power output and take fill-flash photos when needed.

People often look blue and the background looks black.

Ambient Light & Flash

Ambient Light & Flash

Ambient Light & Flash

Most night time flash photos look horrible.

Ambient Light & Flash You remember that your shutter speed controls the length of time light will hit the sensor.

Understanding your flash can allow you to make beautiful flash photos that don't look like a flash was used at all.

In a dark room you will need a long shutter speed to allow enough time for the little light to burn into the sensor. Most of the time when we use flash we're using our sync speed. As this is often between 1/60th - 1/125th it's not long enough for the ambient light to make it's way into the photo. That's why our backgrounds are so dark. A shutter speed of 1/30th all the way to 2s might be the right choice.

Ambient Light & Flash

Off Camera Shoe Cord

Modifying Output

The trick to good flash photography is to choose the right shutter speed to allow that ambient light enough time to make it into the photo.

Off camera shoe cords allow you to move the flash about at will. Omni-bounce heads soften the light.

Experimenting with Flash

Experimenting with Flash

Reflectors A reflector is anything used to bounce light onto a subject. The come in a variety of colours. The colour of the reflector will be transferred onto the subject, so choose your reflector wisely! You can use: tin foil bristle board coloured paper

A 1s shutter speed and movement on your part can add life to a photo.

Painting with Light

Painting with Light


Daylight - 5200 K Shade - 7000 K Cloudy / Twighlight / Sunset - 6000 K Tungsten - 3200 K Fluorescent - 4000 K Flash - 6000 K Custom When sho...