I keep saying in class that an understanding of photography, of image making, of communicating in a visual way changes the mind. As the saying goes ‘mind stretched never goes back to the same shape’ Therefore seeing better, understanding your world through a visual medium has to be a great advantage. You will not be surprised then when I champion this article by Dzvonko Petrovski on Lightstalking
Visual perception, or the ability that allows you to observe a certain situation, is shaped and molded by you and your experiences in your surroundings. The way you see things, observe, take note of details and so forth defines your visual perception and how detail oriented you are.
Let us take a neurosurgeon for example: his visual perception is highly tuned towards details. The surgeon should be able to notice things which regular people wouldn’t even be able to see.
Psychologists, on the other hand, should be able to catch various micro expressions by the people they are working with in order to be able to help them; their visual perception is highly tuned towards noticing small differences in the facial expressions, which often occur for a split second. Along with this, they should also be observant of the bigger picture.
Us photographers are a different breed. Our visual perception is separately tuned towards different things that we are supposed to observe…….
Though it’s very difficult to fine tune your perception for light, this is something you start doing right away. Due to the limitation of the camera (the amount of light it needs to generate a decent picture) you first start evaluating the amount of light you have and whether it is hard or soft.
Generally, you do this by trial and error. First off, all you start with sources you’re familiar with e.g. fluorescent lights – and you generally learn which settings work in that kind of a setup, this can then be used in other scenarios.
You can ascertain whether the light is harsh or soft by looking at the shadows and observing their shapes i.e. whether closer or further away from the light source.
I think you should read more of this article, it is not long but it is worthwhile
I cover much of the conceptual aspects of these ideas in my Intermediate Photography, we have the next course starting on the 12th May and we have places