Even though I did read a whole book about light back then, that didn’t help me.
Well, most photography education focuses on practical lighting.
You can find countless books, blogs, tutorials, workshops and classes on how to use your camera flash, or how to use studio lighting, or how to use natural light.
It gets more specific though.
There are whole courses on just how to use camera flashes for weddings, or how to use studio lights for head shots, or the best way to light a baby's bum, and the list goes on!
This focus on specific situations and practical applications might seem really helpful at first...
The trouble is that unless you already have a fundamental understanding about light (which I didn’t), you’re going to find it very difficult to understand why light is working the way it does in all those real-life situations.
And without that knowledge, I obviously had a hard time adapting those skills to the situations I encountered on that trip.
I know so many photography enthusiasts who waste tons of money and time on expensive lighting courses and struggle to memorize more settings and setups.
(It's kind of like trying to learn how to do a backflip on a mountain bike without first learning how to peddle. Ouch.)
They usually ask questions like “How do I use my flash?”, “What studio lights do I need?”, or “How do I use natural light?”.
And so tons of books, articles, and classes are written on those exact topics.
Less frequently requested is: