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The Power of Light

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Guest blogger Imogen Candler talks about her passion for art and photography.

I have always been fascinated by the power of light through photography, how light can transform an image further beyond what the eye can see. Light allows you to pick and choose what part of your subject you want to capture and accentuate it, whether it be the elegance of a horse, or the captivating personality of a dog. I try to allow their personal and individual traits come through in my photographs, to create a beautiful piece of art.

Animals hold so much power and beauty, and they bring so much joy to our lives. I grew up with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs, rabbits, and lots more. Our animals give us so much joy, so I love being able to capture them and give their owner a memory that can last a lifetime.

Animals hold so much power and beauty, and they bring so much joy to our lives. I grew up with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs, rabbits, and lots more. Our animals give us so much joy, so I love being able to capture them and give their owner a memory that can last a lifetime.

My main passion for art and photography came from being able to experiment with light and read deep into the meaning behind an image. This lead me on to study Fine Art at The University

of Creative Arts, in Farnham, where

I specialised in photography,

and strengthened my skills.

Photography can be extremely expensive, but you don’t need the best equipment to produce great photographs, in a lot of my original work I used my canon 500D in a dark room or stable with a spotlight lamp I had laying around in my room, this worked perfectly well. I learnt quite quickly how to work with light and animals, spending hardly any money at all.

When photographing a subject for someone, I want to understand what it is that is important to them, for instance if it’s your horse is it the wild look in its eye, or is it the shine of its coat accentuating the mussels, or is it the pumping veins running through its body, or is it the calm, gentle nature of its personality, or is it just the strong bond between human and horses; I use light to do this, to draw you in and enhance what it is I’m trying to capture. In my work I believe that images should provoke emotion and tell a story, by only revealing so much of the subject with light, this allows us to read into its own story.

A lot of my inspiration comes from a photographer called Mathew seed. Mathew Seed is a Fine Art Photographer, who photographs beautiful, and very eye-catching images of horses using light. Each and every photograph he creates is a work of art.


Getting started

Starting and not believing in yourself can be the hardest part, this is something I really struggle with, I tend to put things off because I want to always produce my best work, and if I feel I can’t do that I hesitate. I have learnt you have to start small. It is so important to just try and see how things go, then evaluate and move forward, which is much easier said than done. So just start with any camera and photograph anything that interests you, it could be your pets, your children or whatever it is you love to photograph. Once you have done this enjoy looking through your photos and understand what it is you like and don’t like, then challenge yourself that little bit further each time. The amazing thing about photography and art is there is no wrong answer, it’s about doing something that you love and always building and strengthening yours skills around it, but most importantly always keeping that love and passion at the root of your work, because that’s what comes through in your images.

My short five tips to always keep in mind:

1. Be brave and just give it ago, and don’t over think it.

2. Experiment, even when you think it's not going to work, you will never know till you try.

3. Take risks, even when you are not ready.

4. Love what you do and learn to believe in your work.

5. Never stop learning, this one is so important, you can never know too much.

Activity you could do to get you started

To get you started, choose something you want to photograph, could be your pet, a family member, or an object. Then set up three different ways of photographing your chosen subject:

For example:

  1. Use natural light outside or inside

  2. Use one source of artificial light

  3. Then try placing your subject in a darkish room and positioning your artificial light at different angles onto the subject, this will only reveal so much of the subject making it more mysterious.

  4. Another way to try this method using natural light, find a barn, stable or shed, somewhere with little light getting in accept at the door way, then place your subject just inside the doorway and use the natural light to light up the subject, this will enhance the subject and blackout the background.

All of these shots I would advise trying from all different angles, try moving around yourself or move the subject around, just enjoy experiencing with light.

Once you have these images have a good look through and look at what worked and what didn’t work. Pick your favorite selection and share them with other people to get their feedback. Sharing your photos is also a great way to see other people’s work, share ideas and give one another feedback and support


  1. Natural light inside converted into black and white.

  2. One source of artificial light. This was taken inside her stable.

  3. Here I placed my brother in a dark room in the house, using artificial light directed at his face and shoulders.

  4. Here I placed my horse in the doorway of her stable and used natural light to light up the front of her, then edited a small amount to bring out the blacks in the background.

Please join and share your work through our Shoot and Share FaceBook Group, be inspired by other photographers and join an ever growing community of likeminded people. Happy Photography!

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1 Comment

Anne Nelson
Anne Nelson
Mar 29, 2020

Wonderful words of encouragement for gaining confidence to ‘let go’ of our own imposed restrictions! Not fearing about how others will ‘judge’ our art is an extremely hard lesson to learn.....thank you for your wise words and help. X

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