Find Some Light – Photography Basics – Weekend Experiment #2

Photography Basics - Weekend ExperimentToday I want you to find some light. Not just any light. I need you to find three different types of light.


Welcome to the weekend!

This last week we covered a number of topics on how your camera works. We started the week completing the Exposure Triangle while covering Aperture and ISO (Shutter Speed was explained the week before). From there we touched on some much needed jargon explanation that will come up time and again as you dive more deeply into photography.

Photography Experiment
Death Valley National Park, California

We ended the week explaining how your camera sees light and makes its choices for exposure. These are your metering modes. This section is vitally important to those starting out, so please reread it if you need to. Lastly we considered the different camera modes available and what they do.

So far we have been leading up to understanding and capturing light. That is the heart of photography and the reason the art exists. Light and how it acts and reacts is part of most arts. The commercial world relies on it heavily as well, especially with today’s computer graphics in movies and video games. If the lighting isn’t right, the game looks fake.

The Experiment

To help you start seeing light, experimentation is vital.

Photography Experiment
Red Rocks National Recreation Area, Nevada, USA

That’s why I want you to go out this weekend and photograph three different kinds of light.

When you find light that you like, take a moment to not just shoot and move on. Look at the light. Where does it come from? Is it filtering through anything? If you move around the scene, does the light look different? How would you best set your camera to capture the light?

Really take the time to think about how light is affecting your scene. Maybe come back to the same area later in the day and see how the light has changed (unless your scene is entirely lit by artificial lights).

When you have finished, feel free to post your results in the comments section below. Post them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, anywhere!  Then link to them in the comments section with your thoughts on search for light.

What Different Kinds of Light Are There?

Photography Experiment
Ship Anchor, Panama Canal, Panama

Let me count the ways:

  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Reflected
  • Facing the light
  • Human-made
    • Fluorescent
    • LED
    • Incandescent
    • Daylight bulbs
    • Flash/strobe
    • Colored lights
  • Firelight
  • Candlelight
  • Moonlight
  • Auroras
  • Bioluminescence
  • SunlightQuestions?  Pop ’em like Pez in the comments section below. or email me at

    Photography Basics – A 43 Day Adventure, and its companion 40 Photography Experiments, are series written by professional photographer Peter West Carey. The series are designed to unravel the mysteries of photography, helping you can take better pictures. Subscribe here to receive all the updates and bonus material. Your comments are always welcome.

    Photo ToursIf you enjoy the series, consider learning photography first-hand on a professionally led international photo tour in Nepal or Bhutan. More information can be found at Far Horizon Photo Tours

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