A Lesson on How Spotting Interesting Light Can Improve Your Street Photography

Light makes or breaks most scenes, whether video or stills photography. In many genres, it's controllable and you can set it up how you like it. But with genres that are candid and wild — street photography for instance — you need to be able to identify brief opportunities as scenes and light interact.

I find street photography to be one of the most captivating and memorable genres in our discipline. It's an area of photography I never get bored of looking at and I find street photography exhibitions to be some of the most interesting I've been to. Though I'm not a street photographer myself, I have spent a lot of time looking for commonalities; threads that link different street photographers who are ranked among the greats.

There are a few that I have been able to find, but there is one that arches over the rest: light. It seems to be that the art of being a great street photographer is being able to capture great light. This can be a confusing sentiment as it sounds as if you're dependent entirely on the weather and luck, but that's not the case. If you can learn how beautiful cinematic scenes are lit and what natural light makes for the best images, you can learn to spot moments that are worth capturing.

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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