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This chapter is from the book

Dicch—That’s a Curious Word

Of course, DICCH is not really a word. Rather it’s a mnemonic (memory aide) that will help you remember the five ways I evaluate light: Direction, Intensity, Color, Contrast, and Hardness.

  • Direction: Where is the light coming from—the front, the side, or behind?
  • Intensity: How bright is each light source?
  • Color: What color is the light—white, red, blue…?
  • Contrast: Is the transition from the highlights to the shadows subtle or sudden?
  • Hardness: What do the edges of the shadows look like?

As I said above, the best photographers I know are all obsessed with light. You should become obsessed with light, too. I guarantee you that if you learn to see light—I mean truly learn to see light—then your photography will improve automatically.

Truly seeing light is not just a matter of looking. Rather, to truly see light, you have to think about light. Think about the reasons the light looks the way it does. You know, think about DICCH.

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