Photography Tip 3 - See The Light

July 19, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

For today's top Tip I wont go on quite as much as I did yesterday, but hopefully it will have just as much impact on your photography.

Tip 3 - See The Light

Today before you even raise your camera, have a look around you and see where the light is coming from, then use it to your advantage. Whether it is natural light coming from the sun, or whether it is coming from an artificial source like a lamp overhead or on your desk; think about how can you best use it to make your photos better?

How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject ? harsh and bright? diffused by cloud, spot lights?

Is the light highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows ?

These are things you can use to your advantage to make an ordinary photo extraordinary.

If the light is behind you as you look at the scene you want to photograph you may also need to zoom in a little to exclude your own shadow.....this is something else to watch out for, casting a shadow of your own across the image depending on where your light source is placed, you may be able to move yourself or move the light or lamp if possible.

You can see the difference in these four photos, from sun at midday in the first shot, to early sunrise above right, giving a golden glow over Salcombe estuary, to below where on both images the sun is diffused by cloud giving a softer light and more dramatic feel to the images.

If you have a camera that gives you the option to select different white balances, then use it, there will be little images in the white balance menu with shade and bright sun options etc, use these as they give you the correct colour balance rather than leaving your camera on auto, but after you change it - remember to change it again for the next type of light as it may not be the same next time you use your camera.

Below, during my time photographing in Svalbard the light was always soft, it was October and although we had some amazing sunsets the days were also almost like dusk with the sun behind soft clouds all day. In these conditions you need a tripod and longer shutter speed - Note - a flash will not help you with such a large landscape.

Here you can see I'm on the North face of the mountain - with the sun catching the snow as the wind wisps it about on the mountain peak, the back light effect i think is quite beautiful.

So wherever you are today remember to look around you and see where the light is coming from and use it to your advantage, move around a little until you have it just where you want it if necessary, have fun with it.

More tips tomorrow and remember all of the top tips will be available in pdf format by the weekend.

 


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