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Photography is a game of light, composition and post processing. It is important to know from where the sun is shining. This helps to decide between classical and artistic images. 1 or 2 hours after sunrise and 1 or 2 hours before sunset are the most favourite times for photographers. There are many ways to know the direction of the sun. For example apps like Sunfollower or Sunboard.  Also a website called suncalc.net  has an opportunity to view the direction of the sun in every part of the world. The angle of light should be taken into consideration when creating specific effects. For example shadows can be very powerful when cast over half of someone’s face. The effect of rays of light indoors and outdoors  can be very spectacular. Whether it be in the setting of a brilliant sunset, light through a window or from artificial lights it can look very impressive. Silhouettes are another interesting example of using light.  The way to create a silhouette is to have brighter light coming from behind the subject

In general there is 4 types of light:

Golden- early morning, before sunset. Beautiful warm sunlight.  In june it is somewhere around 8 pm, in december it is already around 3 pm.  Sun is low, shadows are longer. It is even better if there is no wind and small clouds. This makes the light softer and image more interesting. Minus is that shooting too late may leave the streets into shadows.

Blue- late night

Sunset and city lights. Most interesting time is 20 minutes before complete night. Blue colour empowers in shadows, warmth comes from artificial light. This combination is the most challenging for photographer.

Midday light

It is sharp light and not used so often. Light has less emotion, shadows are shorter. These images require lot of editing. It is good if there are some clouds. During winter the sun is lower all the time.

Other. Different solutions

Is used for more creative and artistic photography. It really depends on context, luck, needs and purpose. For example shooting during winter time outdoors with artificial light.

This is a general listing. It is a fact that light is influenced by thousand other details. In most cases photographer has to make a compromise, but it is smarter than just waiting for the perfect light to come. Each month has different amount of light

Another basic part of nowadays photography is editing.

There are many technical reasons why photo editing is necessary. Sensor of the camera sees light in more contrast than human eye. Dark corners are almost black, light as white. The bigger sensor the bigger dynamic range it has. It makes a big difference to edit photos. The older the camera the more editing is needed.  RAW file gives a perfect canvas for bringing out the best on photos.

Another story is with photo manipulation. It is a big difference to either change small details or to completely change the overall aspect of the image. It’s impressive that photo manipulation was possible even before computers. Photo manipulation goes back as far as 1860. The iconic photo of Abraham Lincoln will go down in history as one of the first manipulated photographs ever created. The photograph was a composite of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and the Southern politician, John Calhoun’s body.

There are two types of photo manipulations used today. There is technical retouching, which is done to restore or enhance photos, adjusts colors, contrast, sharpness, and white balance. Technical retouching focuses on the background of images and the overall look of an image. Creative retouching is considered an art form and it is also used in advertisements. Creative retouching makes changes to the objects and bodies in photographs.

Some people blame advertising industry for retouching women into unreal beings. Meaning that  their bodies are made too thin or too Barbie like. This is influencing young women to have eating disorders and low self esteem. It could only get better if there were restrictions on how much a photo could be edited. Luckily some magazines have made a statement that they will only edit clothes, not the actual models. They have recognized the impact that drastic editing has caused on teens and young women across the globe. They want to influence their young readers properly.

Youtube has tons of videos on how to edit. The best programs are Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Today it costs 12 euros a month to rent the program. That also means the latest version.

A good image is a combination of creativity, light, technology and post production. There are many small details that create the image. It is an illusion that getting the most expensive camera will make better pictures. It is still the person who makes them that matters.

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