Different uses of light.

2 –Research and collect a minimum of 10 interesting uses of light within photography/painting (or other areas you feel are appropriate). Articulate in your sketchbook/blog why you find them interesting and what affect the light has on your emotional response to the image.

There are a great variety of ways in which photographers can work with light, with a number of unique ideas and techniques which can be explored. Following a session making a camera obscura and exploring pin hole photography, going on to make our own pin hole camera – we were asked to find a selection of interesting uses of light.

André Kertész


Well known for his work in photojournalism, André has a number of stunning photos which work with light in a way to cast shadows. I find this image interesting because it is kept simple yet effective, with the importance of positioning key to the composition of the photo. Where the objects have been placed with the fork resting on the bowl, and the artificial light placed above, this has cast heavy shadows of the two subjects. I like the way this works because it creates a strong contrast of light and dark and with the simplicity of the photo it causes us to focus on the rounded shapes and slightly curved lines. As well as this, it leads the eye to notice the soft textures of the materials yet the darkness of the shadows makes the image feel more sharp.

Michael Kenna


Similar to André, this photo by Michael Kenna is kept very simple but he uses the light in a creative way in which we can feel more from the photo. The light which is used highlights the contrast of the dark tree branches to its surroundings, as well as setting the ‘temperature’ of the photo which feels very cold. Whilst it also compliments the loneliness of the single tree, this is a really interesting way to work with light. It causes the viewer to focus completely on the subject, the variety of lines created by the branches as well as allowing the viewer to think more.

Nick Knight

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This is one of my favourite images by Nick Knight, especially as he uses artificial light through fashion photography at a great advantage to portray a certain idea within the image. The image overall is very light however the model is in shadow which hides her identity, whilst the light surrounding her and on her dress, which she is holding out and appears like wings, makes it look more angelic. The light gives the photo a soft texture as well as highlighting the detail of the dress which is key for fashion.

Tim Walker


Tim Walker is another fashion photographer in who’s work I greatly admire. Here he has used artificial light for a quirky feel, lighting each dress individually and adding a variety of colour to the photo. This shows how light can create an interesting variation whilst also being quite fun. He also uses the light to focus on his approach to fashion, highlighting the different styles and detail in the dresses. The light and the colour add warmth to the photo and makes the scene which Tim has captured quite inviting.

Bruce Monk


This image by Bruce Monk is really unique because he has used the light captured with a slow shutter speed to photograph the movement of the ballet dancers creating a variety of shapes as well as making them appear ghost-like. Again like Michael Kenna and André Kertész there is a great contrast of light and dark and the repetition of the ballet dancers create a sense of unity. I really like the way this image works because the light has not been manipulated, but such a creative image with an elegant feel through the soft texture of each dancer has been made through a long use of light.

Michael Bosanko


I have always been a huge admirer of painting with light and Michael Bosanko’s work is one of my favourites. The ability to create such interesting paintings within a photograph takes a great amount of time and patience, as well as being such a skillful task with brilliant results. This image is called ‘Beach Flower’. The light is the key element in this photo, becoming the subject, with the darker settings making the light stand out more. The painting is made up of a variety of thin and thick lines as well as shapes, whilst the butterflies give a magical feel.


A group of light graffiti artists worked with Noah Harris in order to create this advert for TalkTalk. The advert demonstrates the huge amount of different paintings that can be created and how they can be put together to create something unique. Together they can tell a story, and for this purpose it has been used for advertising. It is clear that light painting is a people pleaser, as well as making it more interactive by appealing to a wider audience. Therefore not only can light painting be used for photography purposes, but taken further for creativity in advertising.

Abelardo Morell


Abelardo uses light through a camera obscura in a number of different rooms and different outdoor settings, creating a great portfolio of different images. This is personally one if my favourites as I am a huge fan of New York and this captures an essence of the city Manhattan. There is something so unique about camera obscura which I really appreciate as we can see a huge amount of the outside on a plain canvas where we can explore things we may not necessarily ever notice.

Michael Taylor

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Here is another photographer who works with light paintings however this particular image caught my eye. Firstly he has used artificial light upon deep, dark blue background and cast a persons shadow on top. This hides their identity and creates mystery. Along with this, he has used light to paint what appears to be a bracelet around the models wrist but the extravagant shapes and bright colours draw the eye immediately here to focus on the use of light.

Ian Cameron

Blood Red Black

“When light, subject and composition are persuaded into coherency then the ordinary briefly becomes extraordinary.”

Ian’s work interested me with his approach to working with light which is named “Transient Light”. He takes the light and his setting and composes the photo in order the viewer to see it exactly how it was when he captured the moment. This works really well because it makes the viewer feel more involved in the photography, whilst he has captured some stunning pictures. He takes what light there is available and composes the shot in order to create a visually pleasing photograph, highlighting tones, contrasts, textures and shapes.



~ by victoriasimkissphotography on April 8, 2013.

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