Understanding the characteristics of light is understanding photography - You must always be a Student of Light! / by Zack Smith

This weekend I was a Student of Light...

This past weekend I was a student. A student of light and all those light hunters that came b4.

This past weekend I was a student. A student of light and all those light hunters that came b4.

Understanding the characteristics of light is to understand photography. If we are travelers, we can be in tune with our subject and surroundings anywhere we go but if we do not know the light we are lost. We must always be aware of the natural light and tune in to it's tones, hues, and it's warmth.

You must always be a student of the light. Always studying, listening, learning...

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I love documenting place when I travel. Upon arriving to a new city I am always trying to tap into it's quality of light at any given moment. That quality of light will lead me to the tones, angles, and colors that are best represented by that light. Sometimes I arrive at dawn and the low light greets the street like a warm whip, and I am quick to spy my shots. I know this light won't last long...

Harsh Light, Sunset and Sunrise Warmth, City Shadows are all Attitudes of Light...

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Harsh mid-day light is not ideal for portraits, but some trees, shrubbery, and flat roofed houses create a contrast not seen in the low sun hours of dawn and dusk. As I walk around I am noticing the characteristics of the light on different textures, patterns, and topography as it relates to the specific town or area I am in. Each area of the world has it's own Light Attitude "the way light interacts with its' environment, specific to place"...I am noticing shadows harsh and shadows soft. I am noticing the way the light makes me feel - I am studying the light as in each new place I am always a student.

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Come be a student with me as we learn the Light Attitude of Crescent Park this weekend, October 15th at 6am and again at 6pm. Visit the link to learn more - 

http://www.zacksmith.com/sunrise-and-sunset-photo-walk-at-crescent-park/

For now, enjoy this light study I did over the weekend in Cayucos, CA. Such amazing Light Attitude! I saw such extreme variations and gradations in color and light while i was there...What a wonderful place! After talking with a local watercolor artist there, I was backed up by his comments that the latitude of light has such a high range! I knew it! Attitude AND Latitude! Go figure...