Light in Photography – Dr Jerry Hankins

Daylight Photography

Daylight Photography

Light is everything you see. Light is everything that is seen in a photograph. It is important to understand the direction of light, its degree of diffusion and other factors that go into making the perfect photograph.

Reading other’s photography can be very helpful. It is enjoyable and it can help you make smarter, ┬ámore deliberate decisions in your own photography. It’s quite simple and once you figure out the basics you can guess the setups and settings use by that photographer, analyze your own images, and continue to improve.

As in all things, one must understand the basics and master them. Any basic mistake made can make or break how a photograph, or a photographer’s professionalism is perceived. As a rule, direct light creates dark shadows that have hard edges. If there is a smaller source of light far away from your subject the harder those edges will be. Diffused light acts differently and may come from different directions and shadows may not exist at all. As an example, think of the difference between a sunny day where you have a well defined shadow and a cloudy day where light is essentially coming from all directions in the sky. Direct vs. diffused.

From a practical standpoint use diffused light to soften shadows if, for example, you have a subject with an uneven surface that you do’t want to emphasize. If you are taking photos of people (or yourself) and you want it to look flattering take photos in diffused light situations. and dramatic photographs are best done with direct light. You can often see photographs of direct sunlight from a window or crack in a wall being used to create an intense feeling to its viewers.

Backlighting is often used to create very romantic images, emphasizing your subject. This can be difficult to use on a smartphone, for example, but if you find a good angle or shadowed area use it, the results may be to your liking.

Showing Your True Colors – Dr Jerry Hankins


Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter, the three largest social networks and three of the fastest growing companies in the world. One thing that each of these companies has perfected is marketing and testing what works, and what evokes the right emotions in their users.

They are all blue. This is not by mistake.

The color blue can create feelings of calmness and serenity. It is gender neutral and conveys trustworthiness, so you can imagine why companies asking for people’s personal information would use blue.

Another popular color used for both marketing and modern design is white. White has the effect of creating a sense of space. White becomes a part of the interior designers arsenal as it simultaneously creates a sense of space and of purity. We also tend to associate the color white with cleanliness and sterility, which is why you see it used in hospitals.

Red is the boldest color in the spectrum, evoking strong emotions of intense excitement. But used in certain ways can convey love. Think roses.

Whether these associations we make are an effect of nurture or nature has yet to be determined, but it is important to know that it affecting you either way. If you are the owner of a business, you may want to paint the walls blue to keep your workers focused. If you’ve moved to a new apartment you may want to strongly consider tones of yellow as it creates a warm atmosphere for yourself and guests.

The most important thing to remember when choosing colors for every occasion is to choose what works best for you. Everyone reacts differently to every color, some even having adverse reactions.