Below is the abstract for Session 4, Dramatic Light. This will be the last of our assignments. Next session will be Q&A and a look at all of our photography.

Proper exposure in dramatic light:

Last week, we talked about light and shadow, how to properly expose an image and how to compensate for over or under exposure to get the look and/or proper exposure you want. This week, we’re going to take that skill and use it to create dramatic images with various light sources—natural and artificial.

Natural light: is the available light that comes from sun light through a window or when the light is coming from low on the horizon. Capturing a dramatic image with natural light requires turning your subject to show light and shadow or photographing the subject from the side. Sometimes, straight on.

Artificial light: can be created using studio lights or lights available in the scene, like a street light or maybe the glare of neon lights from a business or a streetscape. Your flash is also artificial light, but when it is mounted on the camera, it rarely produces a dramatic image with light and shadow.


Last week, we photographed motion. This week, your assignment is to photograph stillness and dramatic light. A light source can be from a window or natural light like a sunrise or sunset. If you want to try using artificial light, use a strobe set off to the side (not on the camera). Bring two or three images of dramatic light—portraits or landscapes.

If you have been following along, thank you. I hope these sessions have been helpful and inspirational. Now go out and photograph something!



It is time: the return of Fine Art Friday.


Photo taken with Samsung Galaxy phone, March 7, 2014.



Below is the abstract of today’s Veteran’s Photography Workshop lesson plan. The assignment is at the bottom.

Two types of light meters:

Reflective: Measure how much light bounces off a subject. Most cameras have this type of meter and it calculates the scene and the amount of light to produce a medium grey or average scene.

Incident: Measures how much light is actually falling on the subject. These are typically hand-held devices and are very accurate.

Rule of thumb metering: f16=bright sunshine, f11=partly sunny, f8=hazy overcast, f5.6=overcast

Cameras have three basic controls to control exposure for light and shadow

Sensor/film speed: The ISO setting on your camera is for adjusting the sensitivity of the light meter. Low light generally requires a higher sensitivity (high ISO) and bright days generally require lower. The subject matter of your scene will ultimately determine what settings you need to use.

Shutter (Tv): The mechanism that determines how long light is exposed to the sensor/film. Controls motion.

Aperture (Av): The variable opening of the lens that admits light, measured in f-stops. Controls depth of field.

All of these controls impact the amount of light reaching the sensor/film—proper exposure.


To photographically tell an action story, motion is key. Produce two images, properly exposed, showing motion: 1) an image showing sharp subject and blurred background and 2) an image with sharp background and the subject in motion with some blur—make sure the subject is recognizable.



Photography Workshop Session 2

February 20, 2014 Photojournalism

Below is the abstract of today’s lesson plan. The assignment is at the bottom. The Photographer and the Law: A quick review. Copyright: Generally, the photographer owns the images, unless it is a work for hire situation. All is negotiable. Know your rights and who owns what before shooting and turning over images. Privacy: Invasion […]

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How many angry Veterans are there?

February 17, 2014 Sojourn Chronicles

The volunteer stood at the corner of intersecting hallways to give directions and assistance, but one young Veteran was not satisfied with that. Anger spewed from his mouth, as if the whole world was out to get him, he needed to take the elevator to another floor. Eight or nine men, most likely all Veterans […]

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February 14, 2014 Destination

Sophia’s restaurant is one of those diners tucked into a long narrow building in the downtown Cincinnati area, and operating for about 20 years. The building is more than a 100 years old. About 15’ wide and 60’ long, it seats about 40 people serving breakfast and lunch. The grill is at the front for […]

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A Photography Workshop for Veterans

February 8, 2014 Photojournalism

Next Tuesday, I am going to lead a photography workshop created for a group of Cincinnati Veterans. I’m excited about the opportunity to do a little teaching. Hoping for some feedback, and maybe your participation, I am going to post the workshop syllabus here, probably in shortened form. You can follow along, and participate on […]

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