Photographing Children ~ Seeing Light

Look at light and admire its beauty. Close your eyes, and then look again: what you saw is no longer there; and what you will see later is not yet. ~~Leonardo da Vinci

Do you often look at photos and feel the emotion, the energy, the mood? You ask yourself…how do they do that? How do photographers capture images that you feel?

Light. They know how to see and use light. They fall in love with the light.

as seen on flickr by paul goyette

Take time…without camera in hand…to study the light around you. For example, light from windows, sunlight on a covered porch, the glow of a lamp, the light which surrounds dawn and sunset. Notice how shadows are cast by the angle of light. See how light illuminates shapes, creates a glow, frames a face. Notice how different types of light create different moods.

Spend time observing your child in a variety of light scenarios such as those mentioned above. Notice the difference between morning and afternoon light. Also remember that seeing light includes seeing how shadows fall on and around your subject.

as see on flickr by *GEL**

Most photographers swear by the sweet light when shooting available light portraits. Sweet light is the light which surrounds the dawn and twilight hours. Predawn light tends to produce softer color while the afternoon light just before sunset tends to exaggerate color.

Another thing to remember is that midday sun is the most difficult shooting light. If you are shooting in the direct sunlight, try to find open shade in which to situate your subject in order to diminish harsh shadows and prevent squinting.

as seen on flickr by K100Dave

As you learn to see the light you will begin to use it to frame your subject to create emotion and mood in your images. You, and others, will feel your photos.

Your assignment. Turn off the flash on your camera. Choose lighting situations in which to place your child and photograph him. If you are a beginner you may want to use the auto or portrait mode so you can better concentrate on seeing the light. Those who are more advanced and comfortable with your camera, use settings of your choice.

Relax. Experiment. Fall in love with light.

Add your photos to our flickr pool and come back to comment on this post leaving the link to your favorite images of this week. We’re learning together, and sharing our photos makes it all the more fun.

Questions. Feel free to ask me in comments.

Melody is also at Slurping Life sharing photos and a few words from her special life.

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