Photography Monday, Photography Basics .....Have you Seen the Light?

Hello and welcome back to Photography Monday and back in the usual place this week.   Apologies for the confusion last week.  After 9 years it seemed Google didn't like my yahoo email address!??  A huge thank you to Nigel on Twitter who helped me regain my sanity!

Just joined our Photography Mondays?

Who are these Mondays aimed at I here you ask?
  • new to photography 
  • bought a new camera and the manual is baffling to say the least
  • have a busy life and never had the time to work out what all the settings are on your camera
  • you just want to take better photos
  • take everything on Auto or P for programme
It's ok if you've missed the last couple of weeks.  You can find them in older posts, last week's here and keep scrolling and you'll find the others. 

On to this week.   Have you seen the light?  

How did you get on last week?  Hopefully you found yourself a model who cooperated like Ethel and are a little more in tune with light.

Learning to see and use light is so important in all photography ....

That being so, we're going to continue with learning the light this week before we move on to settings in the camera.

Natural light or available light

You will often here photographers say 'we will use available light' which means whatever light there is!

However, we are still looking at the light the sun gives us whether it be bright or behind cloud.

Let's go outside with our cameras today ....

No matter what kind of photography you are interested in, you can learn to use the light to your advantage.

Landscape photography ...

Landscapes, seascapes, can be taken whenever you choose .... you can decide on when and place yourself in the best position to take some amazing images.  I love clouds in landscapes or seascapes.
And, of course, a sunrise or sunset can be incredible.

However, I'm going to focus on portraits for now to keep it as simple as possible.

Portrait photography

If you're on a day in the park with the kids they're not always just where you want them to be.  But you can always move around them to get the best light!

iPhone and Ethel at the ready ....

We're off out to the garden.  The sun is going in and out today so I can hopefully give you some good examples.

1.  Dappled light.  I have sat Ethel back out of the sunlight but letting in a little light from the sun, with shadows from the leaves above.  This is called dappled light, which I actually quite like.  But some don't. :)
Remember photography, like anything else, is a little subjective.  If you like it and your subject likes it, to me that's actually all that matters.

2.  Ethel has now sat on the very elaborate bench in the garden facing the sun!  Oh dear either sunglasses or have very squinty eyes in your photo. :(  Harsh shadows too.
I think you can safely say that most subjects would not be impressed with their eyes squinting in a photo or not being able to see their eyes at all.  If you find yourself or your subject in this situation either move them or yourself :)

If you're in the park on a bright sunny day try to get your kids to run into the shade of trees, it will help keep those harsh shadows at bay and give you much better light.

And just because I could - I moved Ethel!

3.  I moved Ethel to another seat in the garden and turned her round with her back to the sun.  Now the sun was behind Ethel and I was shooting into the sun.  A much better photo and no sunglasses or squinting :)
Quite a pretty picture but bear 😉 in mind the time of day you shoot.  Always much brighter in the middle of the day (which is when all these photos were taken)

However, when capturing all important memories, for example, with kids in the park, we don't have a choice about time of day.  If we can't move our subjects, we need to move ourselves around to get the best possible image.

4.   Quickly now the cloud had covered the sun creating a beautiful soft light.  I moved Ethel back to the bench and faced her towards the light again.

See the difference between image No 4  and No 2? 

Photographers language ....  

The cloud had created a beautiful 'soft box' - meaning cloud covering the sun and giving a lovely even light!  No harsh shadows.

If you hear photographers saying 'the cloud has created a soft box' you'll now know what they mean.

Most photographer's (especially wedding photographers) dream of these lighting conditions :)

And this week I leave you with this quote:

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.”  Aaron Rose

Thanks for joining me this Photography Monday.  Look forward to seeing you all next week when we begin with camera settings :)

Remember - practice, practice, practice 😊