Welcome

A website about light (or the lack of it)

Photographers are obsessed with light.  Not just light – good light, beautiful light, seeing the light, finding the light.  And light, when it’s good, really is a photographer’s dream.  But good light can be a rarity.  This can be especially true for a wedding photographer. There might be beautiful light over there, but you have to take the photo over here. An hour ago may have had just the right quantity of light, but you have to take the photo now, when it’s practically dark.

Some days, especially in winter months, any light can be a rarity.  And while, as photographers we’re taught to take quality over quantity any day when it comes to light, just what do you do when there’s neither quality nor quantity of light?

This website explores how I deal with no light, low light, bad light, bad low light (and, occasionally, good light!). A lot of what you’ll see here is light created by me, but it won’t all be. There will be shots here which are entirely lit by nature. And there’ll be shots that are entirely lit by me (using small flashes, usually).  The vast majority of shots here will actually be a bit of both.

I break down many of those shots, and explain what I lit, what I didn’t light (often more important), how I lit and why I lit as I did. There’ll be good shots and not so good shots. Things won’t always work out and the stars won’t always align. But stick with me, and whatever about the photos, I promise you’ll learn a bag of tricks to give you the best chance of working with the light you have, or creating the light you need.

The website is divided into four main sections:

01.

FUNDAMENTALS

SPEAK THE LANGUAGE

These are articles that address the basic theory of light and lighting – we define the characteristics of light that inform everything else on this website.

02.

AMBIENT LIGHT

USING WHAT’S ALREADY THERE

These articles are all about images shot with no additional lighting. These can be from day or night, indoor or outdoor, and all rely on an understanding of the fundamentals of light to make the most of what’s already there

03.

ADDED LIGHT

TIME TO PROBLEM SOLVE

These are articles about images shot with the help of added light, possibly from a flash or a continuous light source such as an LED light. These will primarily be mages captured on real wedding days with real clients, and solve a particular problem or create a particular look.

04.

SLIDE TO LIGHT

EXERCISES FOR THE READER

Like the exam at the end of term, these are shots that show the scene before I lit it and after I lit it and are left as a reverse-engineering challenge for you to figure out the lighting used – where it was, and why it was.

Inspiration and information with no secrets.

There will be no secrets, and I’m not one for holding back how I did something for fear someone else might do it better.  I learnt all I know about photography from fellow photographers who were kind enough to share, and firmly believe in paying that forward.

So enjoy the journey, and hopefully along the way you learn a thing or two about light that you can apply to your own photography.