Monday, August 12, 2013

All About Light

Ever since I've been heavily into photography I've pretty much carried a camera with me everywhere, but now many times when I'm out it stays in the bag - if the light isn't good there is no use in taking a photograph. While I'm glad I have many shots that document my life and the events(family&friends) that I've attended those are rarely anything I would organize in any kind of portfolio. For the first few years I couldn't figure it out - I would go hiking to all these beautiful places but my photos looked so flat and bland. It took me way too long to realize that unless you're shooting landscapes during the "magic hour" - up to an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset - the light just isn't going to be all that good. The right light can make the most boring object look interesting(below) and the wrong light can make the Grand Canyon look boring. I believe I really started to develop my "eye for light" by the years of working on a farm - I began to notice the wonderful shadows and glowing oranges and yellows at the right times of day from being outside constantly. Above is a photo I took yesterday at Laura's company picnic at Hardesty Park - to me its the worst kind of light - directly overhead, midday, summer sun - it takes a good subject to make it worth shooting in the the harsh light but sometimes you have to document an event or place and simply can't wait for the "magic hour".  One of the best techniques for these times is to use your flash(works better up close and personal) - people may look at you like you're crazy - but next time you see a newspaper photographer shooting people in the sun watch and learn.  The flash will overcome many of the harsh shadows that make people look so terrible in the sun.  Photography is all about capturing light - the word actually translates from Greek - meaning "light drawing".  So if your gonna shoot - try your best to draw with good light.  
Sill in Morning Light #1

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