Learning Goal

- Students will understand the importance and impact of lighting in photography

- Students will be able to effectively use different types of lighting

Remember The Egg

Being able to see and effectively use light is an important skill for a photographer. In class we will watch the Remember the Egg video and discuss how to apply this technique.

Tip: A white styrofoam cup will work well if you don't have eggs

The Challenge - Remember the Egg 10 Pts

Team up with one partner. Apply the technique from the video we watched in class. Take five pictures of an egg, cup, or another inanimate object. Use a flashlight or another light source to light the egg from different angles. Remember to keep the egg in one place.

After taking your egg pictures, apply this same technique to a living subject (your partner). Your person will stay in one place as you (and your light source) move around them and take five or more pictures. As you move around, the light should change your subject just like the egg example. Alternatively, you may try putting a person in front of a light source (eg. a window), and have them spin slowly. Take their picture with the light at different angles.

Use Google Drawing, Google Slides, or a similar tool (not Google Docs) to create a collage that combines your object and person shots together (10 or more). Add your collage and group names to this collaborative page. Provide constructive feedback to one other group. You need to show me your finished work in class for credit.

Types of Light

Any lesson about light wouldn't be complete without mentioning the "golden hour". The "golden hour" or "magic hour" is the first and last hour of the day. This time period usually creates warm and dynamic lighting situations.

After our last assignment, hopefully, it is easier for you to 'see' how light affects your subjects. In class, we will cover different types of light that we can use (pages 1 & 3) in our photos. Think about the position of the light source in relation to your subject. Here is a bonus link on all things outdoor lighting (we won't cover together). We may watch this good video on the qualities of light and how they can be used for landscape photography.

We will focus on the following lighting situations:

- Golden Hour

- Front Light

- Side Light

- Back Light (silhouettes, in school examples)

- Diffused Light (shade from clouds, trees, buildings, etc.)

As the person controlling the shutter, you need to decide what to expose for in the image. Your light meter is how your camera 'reads' light. If you can control it, think about or consider which metering mode to use.

For the silhouette pictures, you may have to point your camera at the light part of the scene, hold your shutter halfway down, then recompose and take your shot. For some cameras, this will 'lock-in' the exposure (focus) info. You want to expose for the light part of the image to throw your subject into darkness. Dialing up the contrast can help during editing. We will look at this silhouettes guide for some more tips to consider.

"Keep the sun at your back" is a classic rule for using light when shooting outside (front lighting), but rules can be broken once mastered.

The Challenge - Types of Light 15 Pts

Use the techniques we discussed to master lighting your subjects. Consider other concepts we've covered so far (leading lines, different angles, rule of thirds, etc.) as you are shooting.

    • Take at least 25 new/original types of light pictures (shot both on school grounds and away from school)
      • Take at least 5 pictures from each of the following categories:
      • Categories: front light, side light, back light (silhouette), diffused light, golden hour
      • You should be using a variety of subjects
    • Transfer the pictures to your computer or Google Drive
    • Choose your best photo from each category to edit and turn in (5 in all)
      • Hopefully, the type of light you used is clear, but you may want to label your images
    • Use and turn in the Shooting Assignment Rubric to self evaluate your photos
    • When you are finished, meet with me to discuss your project and get feedback
    • Add one of your best shots to this collaborative page. Comment on one other person's picture.
golden hour

Flash & Fill Flash


Please, use your flash responsibly. It seems natural to use your flash in a darkly lit room, but it can lead to unflattering pictures. So what should you do? Use the tips below as a guide.

    • Using a higher ISO number will give you more light to work with (can add noise to photos)
    • Many cameras allow you to change your flash settings, turn it down
    • Try to diffuse your flash so it's not so harsh
    • Diffusing the flash on a phone is hard. The flash and lens are so close, you redirect the light towards the lens.

How should you use your flash? I'm glad you asked. One great use of the flash is a technique called 'fill flash'. Your flash is used to reduce shadows in a scene that typically has enough light. Again, be careful not to overdo it. Check out these links and this video for more info on using fill flash.

bad use of flash

Become a flash master. You can team up with a partner. Take a low light shot with incorrect or harsh flash. Diffuse your flash using a technique from above and retake the shot to get better exposure. Use the picture on the right as an example. Each partner should rinse and repeat this process three times (each partner will have six photos). Each partner should also get three fill flash shots. Ideally, you are finding different subjects as you go.

Use Google Drawing to create a collage showing each partner's best low light before and after and also each person's best fill flash image. Add your collage to this collaborative page. Provide constructive feedback to at least one other group/person.

fill flash