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I feel when I browse this website I see many images that ignore certain things about creating an image. A foundational principle of photography is light. This is a feature of random photographic works across of DA which use light in many different ways with analysis of how the light plays an important role. Because photography is first and foremost about light: ‘To write with light’ isn’t a misnomer at all. In the instances of the shots, some may be more graphically interesting than others but they all have some quality of light which I expect people can learn from. On another note I mention compositional geometry and the notion of questions a few times. Because being technically superior or having mastered craftsmanship isn’t enough sometimes to truly generate a quality artistic image: I believe that I personally fail in this regard sometimes. Sometimes I photograph primarily for beauty with composition and craftsmanship and not for a quality of question or meaning. This isn't about how to properly light a subject, but instead how to look at light in a more creative way. I didn't provide any of my own works in this feature.

General Information: I wanted to open big, with a really eye catching photo – so the first two are just images that I think really pop. Something people will want to favorite upon seeing. This one doesn’t have as much exposure as the following, but it is more towards my topic than the next.

Aesthetic Information: For this photo to really be understood it needs to be seen in full view. The thumb doesn’t do it justice. The light is tearing through the sky very powerfully isn’t all that unique but it takes on a whole new meaning when you look at the boat. There is a little tiny man on the boat looking into this  light while this tiny boat approaches the scene. The sheer size difference gives the sun a whole new implied mass. It seems huge, beyond imagination. To me, at least, it takes on a divine quality.

alpine sundown by ffmdotcom
Aesthetic Information: The way the light screams across the picture plane seems too unreal. The shadows of each peak just rip the picture plane.

Aesthetic Information: There is so much about this photo that just frustrates me, however the photograph manages to capture two separate incarnations of light that are just wonderful. First, there is the most apparent flaw that I would remove is the top of the subject (tree). Cropped to just above the trunk (perhaps a trunk length up) you get the effect that many people seek in shadows – except reversed. There is a streak of highlights bouncing across the ground and it is just wonderfully appealing. Leaving a little bit of the trees provides a powerful highlight at the top of the generated picture plane to support the highlights of the trunk and add tension to the highlight bounding through the center of our generated picture plane.

On the other hand, we have the top of the photograph, which alludes to the second way that light was used in a unique way. While there are little to no shadows or lower mid-tones in existence at the top of the picture plane – there is an extremely powerful contrast between the highlights. The white of the sky verse the yellow and red of the leaves. I cannot generate an effective picture plane within this image to find a composition that I like utilizing this effect though, so I tend to ignore such a thing.

Loveseat by BelaBoosMim
Aesthetic information: We love contrast. Contrast good. But contrast isn’t always enough. What draws me to this picture? The way that the light is on the ground generating a tension with looking at the empty couch… why is the couch empty? Etc. This things make the photograph interesting to me.

Aesthetic information: The composition has a nice weight with the highlights being contained near the top of the image which manage to trickle down, pardon the pun. What I like to do when evaluation any photograph is to sort of box in small portions of the image and move around in them, as well as rotate the image as much as possible. When you move around this image in such a fashion you can see each individual little bubble of water within the splash.

Technical Information: The lensflare present at the top of the image is a wonderful little diffraction spike that is a result of the fstop being higher than usual. Quick relationship guide for young photographers – smaller holes result from larger numbered fstops. So, f5 lets in more light than f25. When less light is allowed in, bright lights get those lines that streak off of them.

Peace ... Paix by Fant0me
High contrast photo with fun light against the feather: sure, maybe it doesn’t belong in this thread but I liked it and thought I’d feature it anyway.

Loving you by Marori
Aesthetic information: Everyone likes contrast and a silhouette is the epitome of a contrast – the harsh blacks against the sunlight really drive the image, but the sunlight and the other flare off the water push the eyes to the pixilated figures – the light itself forces us to see the figures who are less contrasty in nature (indeed, they’re as close to midtones as the image gets – with the clouds). The light manages to halo the figures and the coloring itself gives the entire image a wholesome feel.

Technical Information: Obviously the image was hacked at viciously in an editing program, but I still can’t get over the way the light is done.

Carnivale by kyas
Aesthetic information: The way the light radiating out of the center of the Ferris wheel is a lovely diffraction that I explained earlier. But the overlapping circles are lovely.

Technical Information: Slower shutter speeds allow the passage of time, separate from what we usually consider when we think of a camera freezing a moment in time. Usually cameras operate in fractions of a second and this image takes place over two full seconds. It becomes difficult to separate a quality photograph from the cliché in these instances – but this artist manages to incorporate the elements and principles of art in such a way that it doesn’t ruin the photograph for me.

Soul by robbsiebobs
Aesthetic Information: This photo-manipulation isn’t using light as a subject but it uses light through the smoke to present and idea; this is reflected by the title. Who doesn’t want to see a bright red pair of lips? This is an extremely sexy photo-manipulation where the light seems to bounce through the blue smoke. Obviously the black background is going to generate a huge amount of contrast. While 3/4ths of the picture plane is black we don’t even notice due to the smoke and the lips. The harsh red of the lips is as eye catching as that magical blue.

See you at the lights II by kathykarate
Aesthetic Information: The way that there is no direct light on the figure from anywhere but the sides, due to the creative lighting. While this photograph isn’t expressly about light it does highlight an odd thing of human psychology. It is weird that the brightest part of the photograph draws our attention but it encircles the subject. The focus of our attention is split generating a massive amount of tension. Obviously the female is attractive and the left hand being placed on the shoulder draws even more attention to her.

Filthy by Aye-Aye
Aesthetic Information: Different subjects generate different subject matter and vice versa. What exactly does a tunnel mean? What does a tunnel that is bright mean? What about a darkened tunnel? Light gives rise to meaning, both personal and in the wide realm of art in general. Each person takes  a different message from each photograph. To me, the tunnel symbolizes life – wrought with beauty all around but what is most important to me is the way that some of it is light and some if it is dark. This outlines the rollercoaster feeling of life in general. Sometimes we walk in the light and sometimes we don’t. The title makes a very interesting note.

Starting the day by aiyoshi
Similarly to the tunnel – this is a pathway that is lit in an odd way. Lots of interesting colors, questions arise from where the guy is going. Where he has been.

let there be light III by robinpika
General: I have a found more than a couple of shots like this, involving a pretty girl (which seems to be prevalent on this website) and some feeling of light. What separates this photograph from just taking a picture of your friend in the grass? Positioning? No. Anyone might sit like that. Craftsmanship? This photograph isn’t all that technical in that realm. Don’t get me wrong, it is done beautifully but that isn’t really the point. Expression? Exactly. Modeling is a lot like acting. It is about conveying meaning with your body language because you can’t speak with your mouth in the visual realm.

Aesthetic Information: The colors are a bit washed due to the relative brightness of the photograph. Ok so that’s more technical than anything else, but what that brightness does is generate a nice amount of light that bathes her body. She seems much more than content and the way the light comes in from the corner of the photograph provides a meaning there. This meaning could be personal to the viewer or the author or be unnoticed to either – it is irrelevant really. But her expression provides us with something else – she is facing this light – her eyes are closed but not in pain. It seems more like exhilaration than anything else. Finally, we have many dominate triangles from her pose which tend to lead us towards a stable weighted composition.

le penseur by 1510 :thumb139254834: Studying 2 by yuniarko The Holy Light by PiecesofSunlight
Not much to be said. Light bursting from the window/clouds/trees touches what I’ve been talking about. Some with stronger titles than others.

General: This is the only piece of work like this that I’ve seen in her gallery but it is pretty much amazing. The highlights that exist in her extended arm and on the rail seem to surpass that which reality intends and gives the photo an entirely different quality – like reaching her hand out and grasping the divine is entirely possible. The way the light is used to create a separate meaning, one other than light, generates questions.

Looking Out by nomway
General: This is either the last or the second to last in this series the artist did with the journey of a milk carton. I suggest looking at it. Simply an amazing high-contrast piece where the sunlight passes through the carton in a way different than the rest of the shots: a conclusion which leads on to believe in some sort of transcendence.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to support these artists.
Add a Comment:
Toxikomani Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2011
interesting indeed. nice work. you really show us how many different ways of using light that there are all around us.
1510 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
very interesting!

thank you for including my work too :thanks:
LightrayPhotography Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
No problem :D
AmethystWinds Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011
I foresee some faves in the very near future! :)

I appreciate how you pointed out the grand importance of light in photography. I'll go even further: without light, photographs would just be flat, all black plains.

I enjoyed reading your commentary on the featured photos as well.
LightrayPhotography Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks :)
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Submitted on
February 24, 2011


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