Luminous Light

Luminous Light is an advantageous element found in many successful fine art photographs. It is often described as light that is shining, beaming, emitting, glowing or reflecting, in a specific direction, or onto an object or scene. Other complementary descriptive terms include brilliant, bedazzling, lustrous, and radiant. Luminous Light in a photograph can also send a message of spirituality or enlightenment.  Obviously, for photographers, and for fine art photography buyers, these are qualities we might like to have in our photographs.  

To complement Luminous Light, we need to add the contrast of varying levels of the light intensity to our photographic composition. In this months photograph "Sunbeams on the Beach", the morning sunrise shines above the top of the clouds while the heavenly sunbeams radiating downward and outward are filtered through the morning clouds. The Atlantic Ocean waves and surf provide depth and color contrast, as the foreground of golden shining sands almost matches the sky in tonal range. The added contrast of the clouds and oceans shadows produces a more pleasing photograph. 


When photographing into or toward the light, we may need to help control the light.  The use of a 0.6 graduated neutral density filter prevented the sun from being overexposed, kept the details in the clouds, while properly exposing for the beach foreground.  

The Luminous Light conditions as seen in this months photo are often repeated around sunrise and sunset. This is frequently called golden light and the golden hour for photographers. I'm drawn to water. The addition of calm waters, the wet sands of the beach, or smooth wet rock provides a shiny reflective surface for capturing reflected light. I live on Cape Cod with the Cape Cod National Seashore at my doorstep, and this area is a favorite, but I will seek out the water in the other areas where I travel and photograph. The conditions won't always be perfect or even acceptable, but by being there, waiting and in search of luminous light, you will sometimes be rewarded.

Roupen Baker, October 2014


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