Monday, October 28, 2013
“It’s all about the light...”
"It's all about the light..." I say it all the time. It's my tag line and if you've taken any type of class with me, you probably have a smile on your face. This being said, "It's all about the light." I can't emphasize this enough when it comes to landscape photography. The quality of light, the time of day, the direction from where it comes, the contrast, and the drama all factor in to determine the impact of the image. On one hand, there really is no such thing as non-photographable light, depending on the subject you wish to capture. On the other, the more dramatic it is when you photograph the grand landscape, the bigger your smile. Have I been out on days where I haven't even lifted the camera to my eye? Of course, but that's what makes hunting for and capturing the perfect light most special.
If landscape photography is all about the light, what kind of light provides the best opportunity? Actually, there are many variables that affect a definitive answer. If the goal is to emphasize texture, shadows, highlights, shapes and form, then you want crisp sidelight at sunrise or sunset. If soft details are the focus of the shoot, then bright overcast conditions are desirable. If you crave impact, clearing or impending storms are prime. If the conditions you desire don't come together, this is when you need to punt and photograph subjects that work, given the hand you're dealt. Knowing an area well and visiting it often offers you the knowledge of where to go, given the conditions. One can never go to the same location too many times.
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