Copyright Scott Bourne 2011 - All Rights Reserved

If you’re relatively new to serious photography, you may have grown tired of all this talk about light. “Sweet light” –  What’s it all mean and why is it such a big deal? You’d probably rather talk gear right? Well the light is more important than the gear almost all of the time.

Take the picture above. It was made in good light. Compare it to the photo below. It was made in poor light.


In the photo made under good lighting conditions, you can see feather detail on the under side of the eagle’s wings. Everything in the image just looks better. In the photo made under poor lighting conditions, where you should see feather detail, you just see black. Everything in this photo looks bad because of the bad light.

Blocked up shadows are almost always a strong indicator that you are shooting in bad light. So here’s a tip – DON’T! That’s right. Do not shoot in bad light. There’s no fixing bad light in Photoshop. You can fix marginal light – not bad light. Simply wait for the good light. I know you might be tempted to take a picture of an eagle because it’s an eagle – good light or bad – but believe me, waiting for the good light will be worth it – even if the eagle is gone. Because  a bad picture is a bad picture regardless of the subject.

Waiting for the light is the permanent condition of all good photographers. Chasing the light. Praying for the light. Seeking the light. Waiting for the light. Hoping for the light. That’s what good photographers do.

So start with the light. THEN worry about everything else. I bet your images improve significantly overnight.

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About scottbourne

Founder of Photofocus.com. Retired traveling and unhooking from the Internet.

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