Photography Workshop Session 4

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!


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