by Cheri Lucas Rowlands on July 16, 2013

Last week, photographer Wenjie Zhang introduced the fundamentals of light, talked about exposure (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO), and set us loose with some simple exercises to experiment with light.

Today, he discusses the quality and direction of different types of light, as well as shadows and highlights, and sprinkles quick tips throughout for those of you who want to hone your skills. We wrap up the light discussion with exercises for practice and experimentation, no matter your level. Let’s dive in!


In addition to the amount of light, it’s important to consider the quality of light. The worst-kept secret of landscape photographers is the timing when the best light occurs. Often known as the Golden Hour, this is the hour enveloping sunrise and sunset, when the light is diffused, gentle, and vivid. In comparison, afternoon light is harsh and often leaves subjects looking flat. (Many of you participated in last Friday’sGolden Hour challenge — it’s exciting to see what you’ve captured!) 

Sunrise at Marina Bay. f8, ISO 100, 8 sec.

Click link for rest of post: Photography 101: The Quality of Light.