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Nikon D800 & D800E Digital Field Guide by J. Dennis Thomas

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Chapter 5: Working with Light

When it comes right down to it, light is the most important aspect in photography. Not only do you need it to physically create an image, but light also impacts the end result of your image.

Light has different qualities that affect the tone of your images: It can be soft and diffused or hard and directional. The light source also plays a role in the coloring of your images.

Working with what light you have — or, to a lesser extent, controlling light — is the key to creating images as you want them and is what being a photographer is all about.

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Controlling the light is the key to setting the tone of your image.

Lighting Essentials

The way the light strikes the subject can have a dramatic impact on your image. Light quality and angles can make the same subject appear differently in your photos.

In this section I cover the two main types of lighting used in photography, as well as lighting direction. Keep in mind that these light types can be used when shooting video as well as still photography.

Quality of light

Quality of light is a term photographers and filmmakers use to describe light falling on the scene. The two specific types of lighting are hard and soft. Both hard and soft light have their place in photography, and their uses span all types of photography, from portraits to landscapes and beyond.

Lighting quality is the first thing the ...

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