Online Class

The Essentials for Understanding Light


Learn basic lighting principles to confidently photograph any subject, anywhere!

Skill Level


What You Get

  • 7 Streaming HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers to student questions from instructor Alan M. Thornton
  • Closed captioning available (web only)

How it works

  • Once you purchase find your class in your class library.
  • Watch on any device anytime.
  • Find class materials in the class viewer.

Class Overview

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.

Lesson Breakdown

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!)
2. Light Creators
3. Types of Light
4. Direction of Light
5. Light & Your Camera
6. Finding Great Light
7. Create Your Own Light

Taught by

Alan M. Thornton
Alan M. Thornton
Alan Thornton has been an advertising, editorial and fine-art photographer for more than 16 years. His clients have included Hewlett Packard, Apple and Nike, to name a few. Additionally, he enjoys traveling, a pursuit that has most recently taken him to Cambodia to photograph survivors of the Khmer regime. He has also served as an instructor for the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University and The Workshops.
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