Light Photography

Posted On July 2, 2010

Filed under DO IT YOURSELF
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Lighted Couch

Photography comes from the Greek φῶς (photos) “light” and γραφή (graphé) “drawing,” together they mean “drawing with light.” So what better project could there be than photographing light.  This was an early assignment during my photography classes at Antonelli Institute. Since that time I have, at different times, been inspired to use light in unique ways or just to photograph the light and shadows light creates. 

 In everyday life you see light everywhere.  The light streaming in from a window onto a couch or light streaming in through blinds onto a wall will make you run for your camera anytime. 


 Then there are those times when you create the photo.  The photo below was created for rhythm and repetition but also shows light and shadow quite well.  


 Go outside your door and you can find a million examples of light to inspire you to pick up a camera.  I was visiting my mother in

Blue Frond

Sun and Frond

 Florida and I could not resist the palm tree, since we don’t have these up here in Jersey. One shows the light and shadow on top of the palm frond, which creates a harsher light and shadow, and the other is photographing the light coming through the palm frond creating softer light. 

Another way to photograph with light is to use the light in the subject.  Back in the day when you used film I did a series of photographs of store front windows at night. I shot with 1600 ISO film, with 50mm lens and shot at 1/60 of a second.  Then shot the lighted subjects.  An example of this is below; it was taken on South Street one night after full dark.  Not only did the photo capture the lit lamp but also picked up neon lighting from across the street.

South Street Couch

Creating a portrait of a child is always something amazing. Tricking the camera and the viewer is also fun.  Using light coming in from a large sliding glass door (the best light I have ever used) I took the photo below. The photo was created by laying my niece down in front of the door on a green carpet and not going with the recommended exposure time.   Leaving the lens open longer than recommended changed the color of the background to make it black.

Baby Mine

 In the end, just have fun with the camera and try out different settings and places.  In this day of digital it is a lot easier to try new things and just play.  You no longer have to buy the film or pay for the processing.  But as I was taught don’t erase anything from your camera until you have seen it enlarged! You never know what you might have until you see it bigger. 

Go out and shoot some light and don’t forget to have fun with it.

Wine Anyone?

Heidi Kelly

6 Responses to “Light Photography”

  1. Jen

    These photos are beautiful! I love how digital photography has made it so easy to experiment and play. It completely changed how I think about photography. I used to worry about “wasting” film on things like random shadows or ripples in water. The best thing is to get a tiny camera and carry it around with you everywhere, because you never know when you’ll stumble across something beautiful.

    • heidihugs

      I keep my little digital in my purse at all times! I agree totally.

  2. dennisfinocchiaro

    Beautiful photographs! Well done.

    • heidihugs

      Thanks, I checked out your site… love the old photos and typewritten collages? I guess you would call it. I have a bunch of old photographs I am thinking about playing with soon.

  3. dsh83

    Checked out your site. Loved the pics. They feel kinda vintage–like peering through a pinhole camera.

  4. Life. – Musings of An Insomniac

    […] Image from: Handmade Philly […]

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