Light is the essence of photography. And being able to capture the light to our benefit is what sets a great photographer apart from the rest. But sometimes finding the precise direction of light can be a little tricky. Professional photographer Frank Donnino shows us how to use a marble to pinpoint the light source:
A simple 25 millimeter black marble is all it takes to help locate the direction of light, particularly in wide-open bright space. Like the reflection on an eye, look for the catch light on the marble. By twisting your wrist around and moving the marble side to side the change in light and shadows will help to localize the source. Donnino continues,
“Wherever I see the catch light at 2 o’clock or 10 o’clock …that’s the optimum lighting that I want.”
With the 10 and 2 o’clock theory in mind, Donnino also suggests using your thumb knuckle to mimic the ‘nose’ of your subject. This will help in positioning your subject in order to obtain the best lighting possible.
A marble is an effective and low cost tool that can easily be added to any kit. Just remember to find a source that will sell a single marble, otherwise you’ll be left with a full bag of marbles just waiting to be lost.
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