Color of light
Light is a mixture of many different colors. If you look at the rainbow or maybe you saw how white light splits through a prism. This also have to do with the fact that they have different wave lengths and will bend in a slightly different way than the other colors. When light hits an object – say, a leaf – the object absorbs some of the light and reflects the rest of it. Which wave lengths are reflected or absorbed depends on the properties of the object. This light then travels in turn to the light sensitive retina in the eye where the message gets sent to the brain: green.
Electric light uses these qualities and simplifies it to create light, that looks to the normal eye like daylight, but not exactly. This is why the sun makes different pictures than florescent or incandescent light. The color of light will effect your image accordingly. Think of the cold blue light of florescent lights in a hospital and the warm effect of the incandescent lights in your lounge. This has to do with the color temperature of the light. Our eyes naturally adjust to this but not film or the sensor of your camera.
Color temperature gets measured in kelvin, over 5000 K are cool colors, while lower color temperatures (2700–3000 K) are warm colors. Daylight being between 5000K and 6500K. It is based on the principle that any object will emit light if it is heated to a high enough temperature and that, as the temperature increases, the color of that light will change along with the temperature.
Also think of the yellow glow of the sun setting through trees and the pale blue light just before the sun rises. Daylight will also change depending on time of day and the obstructions or interaction it has along the way. It is important to be aware of this to either keep to the true colors or manipulate to create your own magic, essentially painting with light...
In photography and in art there are rules of composition. It feels wrong to say as it is also a form of art but it actually just has an impact on the fact that our brain governs us. There are certain structures that makes sense to our brain, that it can process easily. These rules will in turn be pleasing to the eye and to your viewer. So don’t see these as rules but rather as shortcuts or cheats to create images that are visually pleasing.
This forms part of the way we view the world, there is a universe of order of light and composition. To understand these will give you the tools to create powerful images. Think about a social media stream, you mind is quickly sorting through images deciding if it is visually pleasing or not. So subconsciously the eyes are already looking for something that is compositionally pleasing. We are bombarded with images on a daily bases, so being able to create images that stand out from the crowd is essential.
Composition is basically how you place the different elements in your frame. This includes objects and light. Understanding what you’re trying to communicate and placing those elements appropriate to your idea. You get this by either moving the elements around in your scene or moving around yourself.
Our mind has a way of just concentrating one thing that we see and that caught our attention, but when you take a picture of this, it gets overcrowded with many other elements that we did not notice in the scene. So you have to learn to take everything in the scene into consideration when trying to capture something in specific.
There are 3 core elements that we have use to create an image. These are light, a background and a subject, each with their own unique purpose. Light as I’ve mentioned previously is the most important element in photography as we won’t be able to see of capture any scene without light. We’re basically just capturing the light falling on our subject and to see the light and understand will assist you in capturing the subject appropriately. The Background is your stage that needs to compliment the subject, and should have the right weight to the subject and not overpower. The subject might not just be a person, it could be light or a texture or anything else, but it is very important to know what your subject is in an image. Be conscious of this so that you’re able to draw the viewer’s attention to the subject
The Rule of Thirds
This is one of the most basic but important rules of composition. If you draw a line every third down your frame and position your subject on one of those lines. The effect will naturally be more appealing to the eye and you will create a balance in your image. To take this to another level you can use the horizontal lines as well and where the cross, it creates nexus points. If you place your subject on these points you immediately draw your viewers attention to that point, you make the focus of the image very clear. The rule of thirds is also one of the foundational aids in creating asymmetrical compositions. It creates a 2 to 1 ratio, 1 third being the subject and 2 being the background which will give a natural asymmetrical balance to the image. It is so fundamental that some cameras have that automatically displayed as you compose your image. In busy spaces it will help you to draw the attention.
Now landscape if you want the attention to be on the foreground you will place the foreground in 2 thirds of the frame and the sky in one. And the opposite if you want to draw the attention to the sky if it’s a nice dramatic sky. To create a powerful image.
The rule of thirds is also not the end all, you can create nexus point with the rules of fifths or quarters. This will create more space that will create a sense of drama and some negative space in the process as well.
The rule of thirds is very powerful but allow yourselves to move away from that to be able to create some interesting images. Have fun, don’t feel too bound, it’s something that will happen naturally as you practice more.
Draw and leads the eyes into a direction. It will help to create the illusion of depth. It can lead us through the image and give us a sense of destination. Stairs and buildings are great to lead the eyes towards your subject. Lines can also be the subject itself. Naturally the eyes will follow lines, straight or curvy. In nature there are many natural lines and sun rays are also great leading lines. Very powerful basic part of composition.
The highest point of contrast is the point where the eye would be drawn. Your eye will naturally be drawn to the heights difference in light and dark, the highest point of contrast. If there are too many points drawing our attention away from the subject. The brain will be confused and the eyes will leave the frame as it breaks down as a visual experience. As soon as you start seeing these it will give you the ability to see why images are working and why not. You can see this in natural lit environments as well as it being utilized in studio shots. Also keep in in consideration when dressing your subjects and spaces.