Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

The Elements of Effective Photographs

The message of light


From:

The Elements of Effective Photographs

with Natalie Fobes

Video: The message of light

The scientific definition of light is "electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength in a range from 4000 to 7700 angstroms and may be perceived by the normal unaided human eye." But does that really describe the beauty and wonder of light we experience? Does it take into account how our moods are affected by light? It tells us nothing of why we sometimes describe light as sweet or caressing.

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
The Elements of Effective Photographs
1h 36m Beginner Aug 30, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Pulitzer-nominated photographer Natalie Fobes takes viewers into the studio and on location to explore the many elements that combine to make an effective photo.

The course explores compositional elements that guide a viewer's eye, including the rule of thirds; leading lines, patterns, and curves; and depth of field. Natalie then details the roles of color and light in a photo. She shows how to work with the natural light in a room or outdoor location, and how to enhance it using reflectors, newspapers, a T-shirt, or whatever might be handy. She also shows some simple indoor lighting setups that can replicate the look of natural light.

The course continues with a look at movement and how a photographer can convey a sense of motion by blurring part of the image or freezing a fast-moving subject. Next, Natalie explores the concepts of peak action and the decisive moment—those split seconds that capture the essence or emotion of a subject or scene. The course wraps up with a discussion of the roles of planning and research in creating effective photos.

Subjects:
Photography Photography Foundations
Author:
Natalie Fobes

The message of light

The scientific definition of light is "electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength in a range from 4000 to 7700 angstroms and may be perceived by the normal unaided human eye." But does that really describe the beauty and wonder of light we experience? Does it take into account how our moods are affected by light? It tells us nothing of why we sometimes describe light as sweet or caressing.

Photography is poetry with light. Our cameras capture the light that dances off the subject in front of us. We can choose to leave it natural or manipulate it. We can even create it. These choices are based on the mood that you want to set with your lighting. Here are few principles of light: contrasty light creates a somber serious mood; even lighting creates a happier feel; flat lighting minimizes features; and side lighting can add depth.

Sometimes the lighting is so interesting that it just pulls you in. It poses a question. No matter if you're photographing people or landscapes, think about what kind of lighting message you want to send. Take a look at this photograph I did over in Russia. I love the light. The message of her expression and the message of the light is the same. This one I took just a few seconds later. She has a beautiful smile and the light is still beautiful, but does it work as well? I don't think so.

The message of her expression and the message of the light conflicts. Here are a few more examples. I photographed this Native American drummer in the longhouse before a ceremony. The beautiful shaft of light in his expression creates a thoughtful and serious photograph. The message is clean and this one is too. This little six year old is celebrating her birthday. The even lighting accentuates the happy expression on her face.

So the next time you're composing a photograph, ask yourself if the message of the lighting and the message of the photograph is the same. If it isn't, you need to adjust your lighting. In the next few videos, we will show you some basic lighting techniques that will help you develop your lighting message.

There are currently no FAQs about The Elements of Effective Photographs.

Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed The Elements of Effective Photographs.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked