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What is Brightness? How to Understand Value in Photographic Lighting



Brightness is the most important quality of a light source. But what is brightness exactly? How is it measured? And how can you adapt your lighting and your camera settings to make the best possible use of it?

In this video tutorial from my course A Photographer’s Guide to Light, you’ll learn the answers to all those questions. You’ll learn about how light meters work, the difference between reflected metering and incident metering, when you need a handheld meter instead of an in-camera meter, and more.

Illustration of brightness dropping off as light source moves away

Watch the Full Course

The full course, A Photographer’s Guide to Light, takes you through all the important aspects of light for a photographer to understand. It follows a similar approach to this video—we go through the science, and also explore the practical applications at every step.

By the end of the course, you will have learned a lot about light, and this will help you to control light, to predict what it’s going to do, and to translate your ideas into fantastic-looking images.