Light. {Philadelphia Wedding Photography}

You’ll please excuse me while I have a love affair with window light. Of all the things I have learned over the past six months, it is this: turn off the lights in the room and let the windows work their magic.

In photography, when we talk about light, there are at two major things to consider: quantity of light, i.e. how much of the stuff there is, and whether there is enough to get a good image, and quality of light, i.e. how hard or soft it is, and whether it is directional or not. Windows give a wonderfully soft, directional light that can be used to create a number of lighting effects. There might be a tendency to think that the more light the better, but this is not at all true; great lighting creates some type of effect by negotiating differences in light and shadow.

As a general rule, diffused sunlight is beautiful, and there’s lots of it. Artificial lighting, whether incandescent, fluorescent, or something else, looks odd-colored, especially when mixing with sunlight. Best just to leave it to the sunlight, even if the room looks a bit dark. Trust me. It’s probably perfect.

Sometimes a warm light with heavy shadows creates a rich, opulent feel. Shift the camera or the subject just a bit, and the same source can create an open, airy high-key look. This is possible when the room is not flooded with even, artificial lighting, and the photographer leaves the flash in the bag.

Same window, same light, different angle, different effect

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s