<p>Light is the single most important element in photography. Without light, both we and our cameras are blind. But light is so much more than a tool to physically record. This simple photograph by Gordon Gahan shows the power of light to ignite even the most mundane scene—a concrete tunnel—and render it beautifully. <em>—Annie Griffiths</em></p><p><strong>Photo Tip:</strong> When exposing for beams of light, it is best to underexpose the rest of the scene. It will add drama and will keep a little detail in the light beams themselves.</p><p><a href="http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/product/books/photography/national-geographic-simply-beautiful-photographs">Enjoy more photos and buy the book <em>Simply Beautiful Photographs</em> »</a></p>

Canal St. Martin, Paris

Light is the single most important element in photography. Without light, both we and our cameras are blind. But light is so much more than a tool to physically record. This simple photograph by Gordon Gahan shows the power of light to ignite even the most mundane scene—a concrete tunnel—and render it beautifully. —Annie Griffiths

Photo Tip: When exposing for beams of light, it is best to underexpose the rest of the scene. It will add drama and will keep a little detail in the light beams themselves.

Enjoy more photos and buy the book Simply Beautiful Photographs »

Photograph by Gordon Gahan, National Geographic

Simply Beautiful Photos: Light

See pictures and get photo tips from National Geographic’s book Simply Beautiful Photographs.

Read This Next

Mauna Loa erupts for first time in 38 years—what happens next?
These are the best travel photos of 2022
How an ancient revolt sparked the Festival of Lights

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet