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Did you know that Photography literally means “Writing with light”? That’s right. “Photo” means “light” and “spelling” means “writing.” Therefore, a graphologist is a handwriting analyst. Therefore, effective use of light is essential for good photography.

Where am I going with this? Well, I think with the increased emphasis on megapixel count and the deception that attracts the intellect that nirvana in photography is achieved through photoshop, we are forgetting the basics. First things first, turn on the light, fine.

Here are some basics:

1) If you take pictures of a human subject, be especially careful about how light casts shadows on different parts of the subject’s face.

2) Be sensitive to creating “hot spots” in different parts of your photo. You surely don’t want a bright distracting element in your photo.

3) Look at your whole picture and see how it plays with light; either attenuating or amplifying; different elements. If a background element is overdone or under-emphasized, you are doing something wrong.

4) Not all of your photo mistakes can be removed in Photoshop. For example, an image processing algorithm can never undo the crime of shooting when the color temperature is not right.

5) Use a flash, but only if necessary. And then use a professional flash. Really cheap ones or built-in fluorescents will make your images look unreal and make them unattractive too.

6) Use the best light source: the sun. Used effectively, it produces the best images.

Here is the excellent handwriting, using light.

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