OP – The Blog

Posts Tagged ‘light’

March 12th, 2015

Without Expectations, Desert Wanderings (Part 1)

Posted By Joseph Rossbach
DSC_4226
Expectations are a dangerous thing. They can lead us to great disappointment often and utter satisfaction only rarely. I often hear  and read other photographers whine and wallow over the lack of great light or weather at that location they have been chasing an image or idea for years. I often wonder how many images …
 
November 25th, 2014

The Edge of Light

Posted By Ian Plant
"Sunset Sojourn 2" - Etosha National Park, Namibia (by Ian Plant)
(© Ian Plant) My favorite style of shooting is against the light (known as “contre-jour”). Contre-jour lighting occurs when you point your camera directly toward a source of light, whether it be the sun, a street lamp, or a relatively bright portion of the scene. This effect causes the subject to be backlit, increasing contrast …
 
October 29th, 2014

The Essence of Light

Posted By Ian Plant
Polar-Embrace
“Light can be gentle, dangerous, dreamlike, bare, living, dead, misty, clear, hot, dark, violet, springlike, falling, straight, sensual, limited, poisonous, calm and soft.”—Sven Nykvist (© Ian Plant) Light is the beating heart of photography. It is the seed which gives birth to root, stem, and branch. It is the structure and the substance, the core and foundation …
 

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October 29th, 2014

Autumn Light

Posted By Michael Frye
Late-afternoon sun in an aspen grove, Toiyabe NF, CA, USA
Light is a vital aspect of any photograph, and always the first thing I think about when deciding where to go with my camera. The more you understand light, the better your photographs will be. Any kind of light can work for fall color – under the right circumstances. But some kinds seem to work better than others. While photographing and leading workshops in the eastern Sierra, I was usually looking for backlight or soft light on the aspens – or best of all, soft backlight.
 
June 24th, 2014

Chasing the Light and Weather

Posted By Michael Frye
Rainbow, Crescent Beach, Crescent City, CA, USA
It should be obvious that weather and light are important aspects of landscape photography. No matter where you are, it pays to keep an eye on the weather, and to learn local weather patterns. We arrived in Crescent City, at the very northern edge of California, about five days before our redwoods workshop was set to begin. Our first night there some showers moved through, and at sunrise it was gray and raining. But online radar and satellite images showed that the showers might end soon, so I prepared to go out. Then through our hotel room window I saw a rainbow! We made a dash for the car, drove out to Crescent Beach, and luckily the rainbow was still there (right).
 
November 29th, 2013

In Praise of Shade

Posted By Kevin Schafer
Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi) Nesting Pair,  Puerto Deseado, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
People often say clear skies and sunny days offer the best light for photography. Don’t believe them! Except for narrow windows at dawn and dusk, photography on sunny days is largely a waste of time. In fact, during the long, sunny days of summer, I often find myself killing endless hours, waiting for the “magic …
 
October 13th, 2013

A Landscape Transformed

Posted By Michael Frye
Autumn aspens, Conway Summit, Inyo NF, CA, USA
Here are two photographs I made last week near Conway Summit on the eastern side of the Sierra. The first one, above, is from Tuesday afternoon, with soft backlight filtering through thin clouds and making the leaves glow. The second image, below, was made Wednesday morning under overcast skies as the snow started to fall. I used a fast shutter speed (1/90th sec.) to freeze the motion of the snowflakes, which created a faint white dot pattern across the frame.
 
October 11th, 2013

The Gifts of Weather

Posted By Kevin Schafer
Clearing storm on the Stirling Ranges, Western Australia
Sometimes, the best pictures we get are 180 degrees from the ones we were after. This is nearly always true when the weather is wacky and unpredictable, and brilliant blue skies are punctuated by passing showers. I set out this day to photograph the sunset on Bluff Knoll, the highest mountain in Australia’s Stirling Ranges. …
 
August 6th, 2013

Light Against Dark, Dark Against Light

Posted By Michael Frye
Dogwood blossoms, Yosemite. These backlit flowers stand out cleanly against a dark, shaded background.
Many of the most effective photographs share a simple lighting concept: they either place a light subject against a dark background, or a dark subject against a light background. This first photograph of two dogwood blossoms is a perfect example of a light subject against a dark background. In fact the background isn’t just dark; it’s completely black, so there’s nothing to compete visually with the flowers. The contrast creates a simple and dramatic image.
 
July 23rd, 2013

Photographing Reflections: Beyond the Mirror

Posted By Michael Frye
Creek descending through a granite basin, Yosemite NP. The sun was hitting the rocks just beyond the top of the frame, reflecting the gold color into the water, and even onto some of the polished rocks on the right.
When people think of photographing a reflection, they usually think of a mirror reflection, like a mountain reflected in a tranquil lake. I’ve done my share of those, but I think it’s often more interesting to just look at the colors, textures, and patterns on the water’s surface. During my just-completed Hidden Yosemite workshop we …