Using Light Where You Find It

Subtitled: The iPhone Is Not Just For Taking Selfies.

Finding the light has always been a fundamental tenant of photography. Being a commercial photographer often means bringing your own – but the truth is this is also found (or more correctly, crafted); you must still find how the light plays on your subject.

Sans strobe, casual images taken with found light are no less compelling. This is often a challenge in dimly lit interiors even with contemporary cameras with impressive high ISO capabilities.  The challenge is to find light that conveys emotion: direction, shape, color.

Taking some casual images the other day, I noticed the illumination the iPhones were providing as children were playing games. A light source! What made it even more interesting to me were the different color temperatures (and thus color) of the conflicting light sources in the room: the yellow of the tungsten, blue of late afternoon light through the windows, and – gasp – daylight balance of the iPhone’s LED screen!

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

I will say I selectively adjusted the clash of light color in post production, although the tungsten did make a nice glow in the background.

These particular images don’t show the daylight, so here’s a somewhat toned-down example of what late afternoon, shaded light looks like versus the yellow light emanating from the tungsten light bulbs in the room:

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

Finding the light can mean experiencing conflicts; it’s at least one reason why bringing your own can help control it.

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