152: Baisc intro into Light

Seeing as the entirety of this module is going to be based on what is light, and how we actually use it, I figured it would be best to actually look at some of the basic uses we use on a camera when it comes to controlling light in the simple ways, and actually what light can do.

Shutter Speed:

How else do you control the amount of light that gets in to the camera? Shutter speed, which once again you can think of in ‘stops’ of light.
1/30s lets in twice as much light as 1/60s which, in turn, lets in half as much light as 1/120s.
By controlling the shutter speed, you can vary how much light is being allowed in the picture, and can be used for different effects that the photographer wants.


If you don’t know your f-stops from your bus stops, learn the following f-numbers:

f2 – f2.8 – f4 – f5.6 – f8 – f11 – f16 – f22

Just like the zone system, these numbers represent stops of light, e.g.: f4 lets in twice as much light as f5.6, which in turn, lets in twice as much light as f8. However by controlling the aperture directly, you also control the depth of field as well within the picture; so if you were to be taking a portrait you would want a high aperture (such as f16) to get a crisp shot.

Manual Shooting:

Now to get the best out of both worlds, you can use the manual shooting option on your camera. By switching to the M setting, you can control both the shutter speed and aperture. This is usual in which you if you are using studio lights, you can have a high aperture whilst using a quick shutter speed

ISO Values:

You may have noticed on your camera there is an option called ISO; short for International Organisation for Standardisation, this option can allow more light to enter the camera depending on how high the number is; so an ISO of 100 will let in minimal light, whereas ISO 800 will let in much more. However, the higher the light is there will be more noticeable grain in the picture though.

Soft Light:

Soft light is light that creates shadows with a gradual change from light to dark where there are no hard shadow lines. It is created from a scattered or diffused light source, such as a soft box.
Soft light is found where the lighting is indirect or where it passes through a diffuser, clouds or some other medium, which scatters the light. Soft light may be created by multiple light sources, which prevents the harsh shadows created by a single hard light source. A soft light source is large and/or close to the subject.

Hard light:

Hard light creates shadows with a sharp edge. There is a hardly any change from light to dark. The light is created by strongly focused light traveling from a small (or relatively small), single-point light source such as a snoot.
Hard light is found where the lighting is direct, undiffused, and is not bouncing or scattered by local objects or conditions.. A hard light source is relatively small and/or large and distant.


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