A. Morris Artistry

Fine Art Photography and Watercolor Painting by Aimee Morris

What Light From Yonder Window Breaks?

Willow's attitude perfectly captured.

Sweet Loki.

Photography literally means “drawing with light.” The way light - typically sunlight - hits an object has always caught my eye. That is probably the main reason I was drawn to photography. I have found, an act that nature performs so easily, becomes difficult in the hands of man.

I feel that learning to control light is like learning to drive a stick shift. I bought my first manual transmission vehicle without knowing how to drive it. I don’t even remember how I got it home from the dealership! I do remember, however, hours spent driving around my neighborhood, trying to get the hang of it. Driving with a clutch is one of those learning experiences where you don’t get it, and you don’t get it, and you still don’t get it -and then all of sudden, YOU GET IT. Well, you kind of get it, anyway.

I love this juxtaposition in this image.

The shadows totally make this image.

There is a recipe to setting up your lights. Let me begin at the beginning. The first concept taught in photography class is the exposure triangle: ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

ISO has to do with the sensitivity of the digital sensor. You may remember back in the day buying 100 or 400 “speed” film. 100 was for bright, sunny days, and 400 was for shady or bright indoor situations. Same thing with digital. The lower the number, the crisper your image. The higher the number, more “noise” (graininess) gets introduced.

Aperture (f stop) has to do with depth of field. Do you want a blurry background or a crisp background? The higher the number (f/11, f/16 for example) the farther your depth of field goes, BUT the smaller your camera “pupil” is and less light is let in.

Shutter speed is kind of like an eyelid. The longer the shutter is open, more light is let in (1/60 = one sixtieth of a second, for example). With a slow blink, the eye is open longer and more light gets in, and with a quick blink (1/125, 1/250) the eye isn’t open very long and less light gets in.

My beautiful daughter.

Window light is the best light!

There is a light meter in the viewfinder of your camera, and it will tell you if you are over- or under-exposed at your current settings. This is where the creativity comes in and you must decide what mood you want to convey. Then you juggle your ISO, aperture and shutter speed to create a proper exposure that gives you the look you’re going for. This is the point you start pulling out hair and longing for the days of the “auto” setting on your camera!

When using flash lighting, the light meter in your camera isn’t much help, because the current lighting conditions are going to change once the lights flash. In this situation, it’s best to decide what depth of field you desire and then switch to a handheld light meter to calculate what your lights should be set at to achieve the correct exposure.

If this sounds hard – THAT’S BECAUSE IT IS! It’s takes lots and lots of practice, and just when you think you’re getting the hang of it, the sun comes out from behind a cloud, or your light decides not to work and you have to shift to trouble-shooting mode.

This was too cute - I couldn't resist.

When it gets to be too much, I love to grab my cell phone and capture Mother Nature doing what she does so beautifully.

I’m still learning to control light, and will continue to learn for the rest of my life. I feel you have to keep learning in order to keep growing, and there is always room to grow.

Morning light. This was my Great Uncle Art's watch.

I think this one is my favorite.

I reflected light back into the watch face on this one.