One of the things I absolutely love about photography is that initial feeling of discovery in seeing the work of someone new for the very first time. Recently, I came across the portfolio of Chicago-based street photographer Marie Laigneau, whose work is absolutely terrific. In addition to her fabulous photography, her blog offers up some valuable insights into refining the craft of photography. One such post prompted me to email Marie and ask her if she would allow me to share it here on Faded + Blurred. In it, Marie offers some great observations on how light can affect not only the aesthetic value of a photograph, but also our emotional connection to it. Enjoy.
The Transformative Power Of Light In Photography
by Marie Laigneau
Light – and the absence of light – is inherent in all photography. But light is not neutral – it shapes your image, it emphasizes your story, and can ultimately transform the reality to create new worlds as mysterious and powerful as those found in our dreams. Knowing when and how to use light is key to creating greater impact with your photography. If we look at the impact of light as a continuum, light can transform your image in four different ways:
1. Separation - At the very basic level, light acts as a separator between your subject and the background. Back to the core of our perceptions, the human mind can only distinguish elements in visual art if, and only if, they have different colors or shades of a similar color. In B&W photography, when colors are de facto absent from your composition, the only way to define your subject vs. the background is to create tonal differentiation. In other words, you need to capture elements with different values of light if you want them to be distinct from one another.