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Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Mastering Light In The Landscape

Set your scenic photography apart by learning to use light for better photos


Mastering Light In The LandscapeWhat makes one landscape image stand out from another? Is it location? We've all seen stale photographs from the most dramatic destinations, so location alone isn't enough. Is it composition? A well-composed image is essential, but it can look artificial if the scene isn't right.

It's the light. One thing we see here at Outdoor Photographer is how the use of light consistently distinguishes landscape images. Light can transform a scene from boring to evocative, giving a location atmosphere and mood.

As photographers, we're dependent on the whims of weather for our light, yet we have many choices. We can look for light that dramatizes a scene and learn to recognize the direction, color and quality of the light that makes a landscape look its most photogenic. Sometimes, as the sun sinks low in the sky, the light changes on the scene rapidly, so you must keep shooting since a single photo likely won't capture the best light on the scene. At other times, getting the most effective

light may mean simply waiting for a cloud to move so the shadow/highlight relationships change on the landscape.

We've compiled a series of tips on how you might see and use light in your landscapes to get stronger images. Different locations, varied geographic conditions and other changes across the country will affect how you can apply these ideas to your specific locations.



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