and God said, ” Let there be LIGHT”

Every photograph is about light. Light is the key ingredient shared by every photograph, and determines the look of every photograph taken. ” Light is the glue that holds your image together”,  ” Light is a form of visual grammar”. I quoted those lines from Robert Hirsch.

Light is also my struggle.  Yes, I attended a week-long Intro to Studio Lighting course.  I failed myself miserably, but learned an awful lot.  That is not to say I can shoot any better, I am just saying my understanding is much keener. I had to take a break from my photography and think about the direction I wanted to go in.  The direction I need to go in…  So, after wallowing in a dark cave, I have emerged with a new vision.  LIGHT !

I will be starting over, if you will, with simple subjects.  My concentration will be all about light. Hard light, soft light, mood light, clean light. Highlight, low light.  I will be shooting using ambient light, but will exercise with the aid of a white card, a black card, a scrim, and a ‘fill’ light.  The cards will be used to bounce light back onto, or take away from, my subject, the scrim will be used to diffuse the light, and the fill light will be used to ‘fill’ in the shadows.

This week, since the somber veil that engulfed me was lifted, I have been working with light.  Let me show you some simple examples:


The first image of the pea’s was shot from above, window lighting to the left, and no aids.  The second shot included a white card on the right to soften the harsh shadows.  You can see this from the shadow the glass container is casting. The third photo is of the light gracing the top of the peas, again coming from the left side, and casting shadows. I believe I had a white card to the right also, but not as close to the subject.


  Same set up for the beans. The use of a white card to the right was used on the second shot , you can see it on the rim of the metal plate.

The almonds were photographed with window light to the left. I used a fill light with a scrim to diffuse and fill in the some of the


So, what do I know ? I do know I have a long way to go, I do know I am not very good, I do know I have improved, I do know that I am starting over, and I do know that ‘Ignorance is Bliss’. I also know I must forge ahead. I have to reach out and listen to anyone willing to give me advice. I have classes scheduled, and projects lined up.  My instructor last week advised me of 4 ways to improve my photographs. I am taking them to heart … onward mate !

6 thoughts on “and God said, ” Let there be LIGHT”

  1. You have resolve now and new knowledge to help you. Good job. One thing to help your readers — please tell us how you are calling your shots — e.g., “Shot 1 is to the left.” “Shot two is on the right.” “Shot three is on the bottom.” You say we should “see it on the rim of the metal plate,” but I don’t see any white card, so I think I must be missing something. You obviously can see things I can’t. For example, I had to look very hard and look twice to see a shadow cast by the glass container. PS — LOVE, LOVE the shot of the beans that is to the right. Great light!

  2. The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know – an excellent sign of humility, resiliency and strides forward that you have made. Kudos to you for riding out the ebbs and flows and coming up filled with seeing the light : ) !!! I loved the bean shot to the right also. Onward!

  3. In science, when you’re running an experiment, you change only variable at a time. Take exactly the same shot and use the white card, black card, scrim, etc. — show us the difference with the exact same shot. It will help us neophytes understand, doctor.

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