Light in Photography

One of the most important aspects of creating a photograph, is light. Light has been at the center of my work for a long time as a photographer and gardener it is impossible to escape. It fascinates me and I have used it and made reference to it and many different projects from traditional photography to - photographic journeys that follow the sun - to installation work with projectors and also for projects where I grew images on the leaves of plants. Besides the fact that, without any light it would be impossible to take images at all, light is the ingredient that is used to define the subject- aspects can be revealed or concealed. There are two distinct way is that we can apply light when taking photographs. One is to use light in a natural environment – this means visualizing how it falls on the subject – the subtleties of light, shadow colour etc, and understanding how it will reproduce in the image. To gain the best effect it might mean waiting until the light changes. The other is to use light in a tightly controlled situation like a studio, where the environment is totally dark and we had in the lights we decide to use.

Of course there are combinations where we might use some controlled lighting outdoors.

So what is Light?


is actually electromagnetic radiation that the human eye can see.


Such radiation can be considered in terms of a continuous spectrum which includes light, radio waves, radar x-rays, gamma rays and other forms of radiant energy. What distinguishes each one from the other is the wave length. As the distance from one crest to the next, which can be anywhere from many meters to less than a billionth of a meter, varies the quality of radiation alters. Only visible wavelengths are defined as light,  and all others are simply termed radiation. In terms of light we see these variations as different colours.


Mouse over to view roll over image

This image is taken at dusk from the window of a plane - we can see the bands of colour as a the wave lengths are separated.



Want to learn more? - do a workshop or one on one with Lloyd Godman










light and lighting source and resource