Seeing the Light

The old saying that a professional photographer has learned to see the good light is no stretch of the imagination. Light is necessary for photographs to be made and good, quality light makes for better photographs.

Light has several qualities and light is also directional. There is front lighting, side lighting, and back lighting. You can imagine that each of these will produce different results. For example, front lighting results in rather flat subjects while side lighting brings out the texture and shadows of a scene. Back light can be a little tricky to work with but can result in beautiful silhouettes.

Photographers often refer to the “Golden Hour,” which is the special light just around sunrise or sunset. Photographing a scene in these dawn and dusk hours can result in amazingly breath-taking photos. I am not much of  a morning person, but I recognize the importance of capturing photos in this special and unique light, so I am always up early in the mornings of a photo shoot.

Cloudy and even rainy days can also provide incredible light. Many photographers put their cameras away in these unpleasant conditions, but this is a mistake. They are missing a prime opportunity to work with some beautiful light. Colors in these conditions show up much more brilliantly.

The next time you are out on a photo shoot or just scouting a location, take notice of the light. As you learn to see the light, your photographs will get better and better!


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