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  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from Alan in our virtual classroom
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Photo of Alan Thornton

The Essentials for Understanding Light

with Alan Thornton
The Essentials for Understanding Light
Learn basic lighting principles to confidently photograph any subject, anywhere!

Unlock the keys to masterfully lit photos! Let Santa Fe Photographic Workshops instructor Alan Thornton guide you through photography light techniques. Delve into the characteristics of natural and artificial light and find out how to create a compelling image no matter the light source. Explore direct, diffused and bounced light, and discover which is best for flattering portraits or high-contrast, dramatic images. Learn how to shoot with back, front and side lighting, and dive into essential exposure and metering guidelines. Follow along with Alan in an inspiring lesson on finding good light anywhere and discover the affordable gear that will help you create and modify beautiful light.

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Importance of Light

  • Meet your instructor, renowned photographer Alan Thornton, as he teaches you how to find and assess light. Then, Alan discusses the gear you need to capture and utilize light in your own photos. (Hint: It’s not much; the light is the star of this show!)


Lesson 2. Light Creators


Lesson 3. Types of Light


Lesson 4. Direction of Light


Lesson 5. Light & Your Camera


Lesson 6. Finding Great Light


Lesson 7. Create Your Own Light

"Brilliant. Easy to understand with properly explained concepts."
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