Creatives and the Law

Friday, October 23, 2015

Understanding Light

When it comes to photography, you need to understand light. Light is the difference between a good picture and a great picture. As a photographer, you should always be aware of the type and quality of light and you should use it to your advantage. Learning how to use light and produce your best photography in any light is not the easiest thing, but with a little time and practice you can learn how to use light best. 

Natural Light vs Artificial Light

There are basically two types of light -- natural and artificial. Natural light is any light that occurs naturally such as sunlight or candlelight. Artificial light is any light created by humans. Artificial light has a different color than natural light.

Hard Light and Soft Light

You may have heard the terms "hard light" and "soft light" before. Hard light is caused by a small directional light focused on the subject. Soft light, however, comes from a large or filtered light source.  Hard light creates harsh shadows and accentuates textures whereas soft light creates soft shadows and creates a range of tones bringing more detail to shadows. On a cloudy day, the harsh light of the sun is diffused by the clouds creating soft light. Reflected light is usually considered soft light as long as it is reflected from a large source.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Business of Photography: What Should Be In Your Photography Contract

As I have mentioned in previous posts, if you intend to start a photography business, you should always enter into a contract with your client. Contracts protect both you and your client by ensuring both parties understand their rights and obligations. However, unless you were an attorney or regularly reviewed contracts prior to starting your photography business, you probably do not know the type of information that should be in your contract. Generally, every contract contains the same basic information and your standard contract should incorporate this basic information, as well as, a few additional provisions that ensure adequate protection of your intellectual property.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Protecting Your Camera From the Elements

Sorry for the hiatus in posting -- I've been super sick the past week so I have not felt like writing anything. Now, however, I feel relatively better so get ready because new content is coming your way!

As Hurricane Joaquin moved along the eastern seaboard several weeks ago, and I hunkered down for a few days, I thought it would be a good time to prepare a post on how to protect your gear from the elements. I cannot tell you the number of times I have seen people carrying cameras in the rain or snow without any protection. You will often hear people say things like "oh, well these cameras are built tough so a little rain won't hurt it." Maybe a little rain will not hurt your camera today, but a little rain over a relatively long time will destroy your camera.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority or Manual Mode

One of the hard things to figure out after buying your first camera is when you should move out of automatic mode and into the more advanced options of aperture priority, shutter priority or manual mode. Well, my advice -- get out of automatic mode as quickly as possible and start working in aperture, shutter or manual mode.

Brief Explanation - Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO

Now, there are three principles you need to understand before you can move out of automatic: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.


Aperture is the opening in the lens. When you press the shutter release button a hole opens inside your camera that allows your camera image sensor to see the scene you want to capture. The aperture that you select affects the size of that hole. The larger the hole, the more light that reaches the sensor and the smaller the hole, the less light that reaches the sensor. Aperture is measure in "f-stops." Large apertures are represented by low f-stop numbers whereas small apertures are represented by high f-stop numbers. An easy way to remember this -- the larger the number, the smaller the opening and the smaller the number, the larger the opening.