It is, All About The Light

It is, All About The Light

Smart phones, I love to take out my phone, point and shoot.  Everyone loves to capture the moment, pull the phone from your pocket and shoot.  I love to carry one of my digital cameras with me, set on automatic and shoot.

Most of these are what I think of as travel photos.  Remember the days when you would go over to a neighbors house and have snacks then set up the slide projector and site while the neighbor went through every slide they took on the family trip.   Hmm, maybe many of you don’t.

The photos were all over the place, some nicely composed and lit.  Many too bright and washed out.  Some where the subject was dark and you couldn’t see anything. nIt’s all about the light.

There are a couple of rules of thumb about getting good natural light.  First is to remember that the best light is in the morning up to about 11am, or late afternoon after about 4pm.  Anything in between will wash out, to depth, raccoon shadows over the eyes.

Always try to compose the shot so the sun is coming from behind.  Preferably not directly behind but over a shoulder up to about 45 degrees off the subject.

Sometimes it takes a little creative thought.  Let say you want to take Mount Rushmore at high noon.  Good lighting on the mountain but poor shadow of your family standing in the foreground of the shot.  Try taking the photo with the flash on, it will fill in the harsh shadows.

Be creative and try different things. 

I wanted to take a sunset photo of Claire on the beach.  The color of the sunset was awesome.  Shooting for the sunset made Claire shadow.  Shooting for Claire washed out the sunset.  I quickly figured I would shoot for the sunset and use a fill flash, right on the camera for Claire.  I took a shot of the sunset on automatic, then checked the settings and reset the camera on manual with the same f-stop and shutter speed.  I then open the online flash and shot.  The first shot of Claire in the foreground was washed out.  Unable to set the flash intensity, I started shooting with spread fingers over the flash to block some of the light.  after about a dozen shots moving my fingers, I got the photo.

Don’t be apprehensive to try different things to get the shot, just be bold and try it out.


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