Week Two


Summer Photography Challenge

We decided to start these four weeks off with something a little fun and hopefully easy enough for everyone to take part in. Now 1998 is over and we’ve come a long way, we’re going to get down to the areas we hear you might like some help with. 

Over the next two weeks we’ll be covering areas which we hope will give you more confidence to create the kind of images that brought you to us in the first place. Firstly we’re going with LIGHT and the different ways of shooting with it. To be honest, shooting in different light is usually where beginners get a little bit unstuck as the camera reacts in ways that are sometimes unexpected. We hope this week to help you master some of the mystery and delights. If you are already a camera pro and shoot with your camera regularly, hopefully this challenge will get you back to feeling excited about shooting, creating something that lights up your soul and makes you feel like you’re onto something!

This week it's all about light, we feel it’s one of the most important things about photography. The way you use light in your image can help bring out a certain emotion or feeling, it can direct attention to an area of the image. You see the camera as a paint brush and the light as the paint, if you manage to crack the techniques and create even one beautiful picture will light, it will fire you up to create more. Because light is your magic. It’s one of the ingredients that make people stop and notice an image. Again don’t worry to much about settings as this will all come together, the main focus is light and if you have to put your camera / phone on full auto just do it. 

The light you use can really influence how the viewer sees's the image. We're not going to make it any more complicated than it has to be, we’d love you to enjoy seeing light in a more isolated way for the first time.  I (Jo) always say that after falling in love with composition, finding the light was my favourite part. Once you can see it,  your eyes open up to a whole new world full of more interesting expression.

We figured as this week may well be  bit of a challenge with your cameras, that we wanted to offer you as much support as we can. So the Facebook group will be ready and open for any questions and anything you find frustrating. Don’t struggle on your own, we’ll be there to help! 

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Week Two Light

Here’s your week two challenge -

Produce an image for each different type of light below. 

Backlight  or flare

Window light  or Side light

Short light 

So just 3 images again using different types of light to show your understanding. 

Any camera 

Any subject

Editing is up to you


Here’s some hints and tips to help  you on your way! 

There are 3 different types we want you to look at and use for this weeks challenge. 

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Window / Side Light 

Place your subject in the window and get them to look across the window towards you so that the window or the light from the window is lighting half or their face leaving the other half darker. If you are using a phone, tap the side of the screen that is closest to the window, the brightest side. If your using what we call a "big camera" which is anything bigger than a phone :)  You'll want to expose your image for the brightest side of the face. 


If you can’t get hold of a real life person, or they move around too much ( a still subject would be easier for this) you can also have a go with another item, object or prop of choice. 

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Backlight / Flare

This has to be one of my favourite types of light as I absolutely love lens flare. Backlight & lens flare is pretty much what they say they are. A backlight is where the light is coming from behind the subject and lighting the subject from behind, highlighting and wrapping around the subject. This type of light can be really flattering and when used at golden hour, can be really beautiful. 

The golden hour or magic hour is the time an hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset. This is when the sun is at it's best, it's a really small window of time but if you can catch it, go chasing!

Lens flare is where the light will flare into your lens and can be great. It will add an extra bit of texture to your shot. The way it works is when the light is shone directly into the lens, it might be the sun or it should be an external light like a security light. 

It's not for everyone, so don't feel like you've got to try it,  but if you did want to give it ago try this - Put your light source, well the brightest part behind your subject then focus on your subject eyes or the point of interest on the object that you're wanting to photograph. Hold the focus there and then recompose. To do this on an iphone / android or whatever the kids are using these days tap and hold the area where you'd like the focus and hold to lock it in then move the phone so you see the flare coming in over the person's shoulders. 

You don't have to wait for the sun for this, try it with a torch. You won't get that golden flare but you'll be able to have a practice before you get out and about. 


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Short Light

This works best with humans, maybe small humans but ones that can stay sitting still for at least 30secs while you nail this shot! Open a door and sit your subject inside the doorway. The aim of this is to have the light on the subjects face and then it fall off into dark, hence the name short light. 

Depending how bright it is by you, imagine the sun is at it’s brightest, so the last thing you want to do is make your subject sit in this light and then look up. Best thing to do is sit your subject or object just out of the main light and in the shadows. 

Editing Tips

With any photograph, editing can really enhance your image, with all of these shots, try and play around with the highlight slider to get the most out of the light.

Use this week to really enjoy seeing the light and learning how to work WITH IT rather than it working against you. If we’ve used any terms in here that your not sure of please feel free to ask us, if it’s in the group or a private message, we’re here to help. Look forward to seeing your submissions as you go along! 

Inspiration - @subjectlight on Instagram