The truth today is that despite the fact that it is getting easier to take photographs it remains as difficult as ever to create truly awe-inspiring images. The beginning of a love affair with photography tends to be marked by delight and frustration in equal measure. We all embark on a journey to capture something magical in a frozen moment of time only to find we are rarely rewarded with a tangible image that reflects how and what we see.

We know that there are many factors that affect the success of an image: composition, subject, emotion, timing etc but arguably the most important is light.

George Eastman articulated this truth when he stated:

Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

During the ‘before light’ phase many photographers spend a lot of time reading about light – the intensity, quality, colour and direction – only to find that it doesn’t help them actually ‘see’ it. This is because you need to be shown in person and, critically, understand how to successfully meter and expose for the different lighting situations that you find in nature: e.g. moving your subjects relative to the position of the sun.


  • Principles of light and how it behaves: the physics behind it all
  • Brightness, Colour and Contrast: the 3 most important elements of photography
  • Dynamic Range: How humans see compared to cameras
  • Metering: In-camera metering modes, which to use when and understanding histograms
  • Quality of Light: What makes light soft or hard
  • The direction of Light: Modifiers and lighting styles
  • Speedlights: Understanding sync speed and learning to use on-camera fill flash