Simply put, photography is light. A photograph is a record of light at any given time and place, photons captured via a sensor or on film. Whether we find it or make it ourselves, light is paramount when it comes to photography. A stupendous scene in lackluster light can only go so far.

Interestingly enough, untrained eyes don’t always pick up on light, or differentiate the “good” from the “bad.” As photographers, one of the most important things we can do is analyze light and learn to understand its distinguishing characteristics. With an understanding of light, you can make great images with any camera. 

Photographer and YouTuber Sean Tucker takes his viewers on a journey toward this understanding in his Good Light series, beginning with ‘reflected light.’ As many of us live in urban spaces, we are surrounded by all sorts of reflective surfaces wherever we look. Many of these surfaces are everyday things that we likely overlook, but part of being a photographer is cultivating the art of seeing.

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In addition to discussing where good light may be found, Sean walks through his mobile post-processing process, both in terms of which app he uses and the thought process behind his editing choices. For example, he discusses how he decides whether to leave an image in color or convert to black and white and the benefits of dodging and burning.

What do you think makes light “good?” How long did it take you to come to that conclusion?