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Monday 1/9 to Friday 1/13

Monday 1/9
Aim: How does lighting affect the outcome
and overall mood of our photographs?
Do Now: List different types of lighting in
your notes
Homework: MP2 Journal assignments due
Thursday January 19
MP2 Test Wednesday 1/18

Hard Light
Soft Light
Natural Light
Artificial Light

Everything is at the mercy of light.

The mundane can become beautiful and the beautiful,

mundane--simply because of a change in the light.

The only way to learn about light is to observe it

Ask yourself: How is the light affecting the space and

atmosphere around me?

2 fundamental types of light: hard and soft

Both have particular traits that affect the overall mood

of your image

Hard light
Soft Light

Hard Light Creates Contrast

Light causes anything
in its path to become a
highlight, while everything
else remains dark

Heinley Street, Adelaide, Trent Parke, 2006

Comes from one direction and is

typical of a spotlight or bright

You can use the contrasts created by

hard light to abstract or simplify
your composition

The shadows form large areas of back,

which mask unnecessary detail. This
causes our eyes to be drawn to the

Soft light is more even

Soft light is less intense meaning

there isnt such a stark divide
between the highlights and shadows

Shadows arent dark and dramatic

Detail is very visible

Diffuse light using a diffuser or soft box in a


Steer clear of any powerful directional light

sources such as spotlights, flash or bright,

*A diffuser is a semi-transparent surface placed between your light source

and your model
You can also use a portable reflector to bounce light into the shadows of
your subject's face, which will give you more detail in those shadows.

Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lange, 1936

Hard light creates depth

Callanish after Hailstorm, Lewis, Fay Godwin, 1980

The strong, decisive

shadows that go hand in
hand with hard light create
depth and threedimensionality.

Image taken just after a hailstorm- hard

sunlight breaks through the clouds,
creating dark shadows with razorsharp edges

Shadows emphasize jagged shape of the

stones and gives them more presence

Soft light can be flat

The blanket evenness of

soft or flat light means
that there are no
dramatic shadows to
create depth and draw
the eye.

This evenness means your

composition alone has to guide
the viewer around your image

Here Sternfeld has used some

classic compositional techniques
to control the movement of our

McLean,Virginia, Joel Sternfeld, December 1978

Hard light is brutal

Oregon, Lee Friedlander, 1997

Hard light is dramatic.

It creates cutthroat
shadows and stark
highlights, which are
unforgiving and
expose all.

Hard light is unflattering

By facing the light directly,

Friedlander causes the shadow
of the camera equipment to
cut right through him, while
the highlights draws us into his
steely left eye

Soft light is flattering

Portrait photographers
love soft, diffused light as
it draws out form and
features without being

Richard Learoyd uses soft light to

create portraits with a deeply
meditative quality

Rather than attack a subject, soft

light caresses

It softens any hard edges and

smooths surfaces
Nancy Flowered Dress, Richard Learoyd, 2011

Natural Light
Artificial Light

Natural vs Artificial
Natural and artificial light are unequivocally distinct. They
convey different moods and are very different in color.

Natural light most

commonly comes from the

Can also come from flames

of a candle or forest fire,
or from moonlight

Artificial light comes from

manmade sources- anything
from household bulbs to street
lights to flash.

Looks unnatural

Inbuilt flash creates harsh

shadows and dominates the

Daylight = blue/cool
Candlelight= orange

Household lights = orange/


Artificial Light

The glow of the street

lights has drowned out
the natural light and cast
a yellowish hue over the

This creates a sense of

unease, making the scene
feel unnatural, almost

House under Highway, Los Angeles

Nadav Kander, 2005

Natural Light
What mood is this photograph

The natural light gently

touches the woman, the

letter, and her baby

Its color is so white, it

creates a state of
innocent calm

Woman Reading Possession Order

Tom Hunter

Inbuilt Flash
Flash dominates the look and feel of an


As the flash lights your subject from the

same angle as the one youre shooting from,

harsh shadows are thrown forward and its
intensity causes anything in the foreground to
become overexposed

The use of inbuilt flash in this image creates

an unsettling yet mesmerizing fear

If used less skillfully, flash can work against

you and create a snapshot look that is

unflattering on a subject

Untitled (woman in a white dress running in Yokosuka)

Daido Moriyama

Color Temperature
Different types of light have
different color casts

Lightbulbs give off a warm

yellowish or orangish cast

The sun gives off a cool bluish


Correct for color temperature

with your white balance setting

By selecting the symbol that

best matches your your
shooting conditions, the colors

Light and Shadow

Part One

Abstractions... Find Shadows

1. Find shadows which appear naturally
2. Purposefully create shadows using lights
3. Use projector to project images/shadows
Be mindful of Contrast

Over the
weekend start
interesting light
& shadows with
a phone or


Magazine Scavenger Hunt: Search for different

types of lighting. Cut, paste, and label photos into

Tuesday 1/10
Aim: How is the light affecting the space and
atmosphere around me?
Do Now: What is contrast? Why is it important?
Homework: MP2 Journals due Thursday 1/19
MP2 Test Wednesday 1/18

Start Photographing today!

Tonal Contrast vs Color Contrast

TC refers to the difference in tones from the
lightest tone to the darkest tone, in other
words, the difference in tones from white to
gray to black.

Low Contrast

High Contrast

When two opposing colors are placed

together they complement and accentuate
the qualities of the other color. Color
contrast is a great way to compensate for
tonal contrast.

Light and Shadow

Part One

Abstractions... Find Shadows

1. Find shadows which appear naturally
2. Purposefully create shadows using lights
3. Use projector to project images/shadows
Be mindful of Contrast

Dunes, Oceano, California

Ansel Adams

Examples from
the field Trip...

Behind Glare St. Lazare, Paris

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Louise Millman
Instagram: @louisemillmann

Interesting work by other artists

Review types of Lighting

Review: Types of Lighting

Natural Light:

Artificial Light:



flames, moonlight...
Sunlight- blueish light
Candlelight- orange light

Hard Light:

contrast and depth

Shadows are dark and dramatic
Brutal, intense, not flattering

Creates harsh unnatural shadows
Dominates the look and feel of an image

sources (lightbulbs, street

lights, flash)
Household lights=orange/warm hue

Soft Light:

Detail very visible
No dramatic shadows to create depth
Very flattering (especially for portraits)
Softens hard edges and smooths

Wednesday 1/11
Aim: How can we use the contrasts created by hard light
to abstract or simplify our composition?
Do Now: List 3 necessary qualities to create a successful
image of light and shadow
Homework: MP2 Journals due Thursday 1/19

MP2 Test Wednesday 1/18

Contrast, composition, light & shadow

Name types of artificial light
What does abstract mean?
What kind of light lends itself well to abstraction?

Thursday 1/12
Aim: How do we turn our photos black and white in
Do Now: Recall facts about shutter speed and write
them in your notes
Homework: MP2 Journals due 1/19
MP2 Test Wednesday 1/18

Editing B&W images in


Abstract images made by light and shadows

How can aperture control the background of an image?
What type of lighting do portrait photographers like to
use the best?

Friday 1/13
Aim: How can we incorporate our lighting techniques
with portraiture?
Do Now: What makes a portrait compelling?
Homework: MP2 Journals due next Thursday 1/19
MP2 Test Wednesday 1/18

Light and Shadow

Part Two

Portraits... Lighting effects

1. Control different kinds of light and the direction of light
2. Create a mood or feeling- Consider the personality of
your subject
3. Be inspired by a photographer

Louise Millman
Instagram: @louisemillmann

Why is tonal contrast important in a black and white
What could be used instead of tonal contrast in a non
black and white photo?

Tuesday 1/17
Aim: How can our portraits tell a story?
Do Now: How can you utilize both soft and hard lighting
in a portrait? What would would be the difference in the
Homework: MP2 Journals due this Thursday 1/19
MP2 Test TOMORROW: Wednesday 1/18

Due dates:
1 Abstract light & shadow
1 Portrait light & shadow
due 1/23

Test Tomorrow 1/18

Journals due Thursday 1/19