If you talk with experienced photographers you’ll hear the subject of light come up often. That’s because light is everything in photography. A mistake many beginners make is not understanding the part that light plays in a good or bad photograph.

You need to pay attention to the intensity, angle and color of light. In this post, we’ll deal with primarily the angle of light.

In this post you will see four photographs all made with the same camera and lens at the same location. The time of day was several hours apart in each photo – some in the morning and some in the late afternoon/early evening. It really doesn’t matter which is which at this point. The goal of this lesson is to simply bring home how important light is to your photography.

Here we have the same subject photographed four times in different light (no adjustments from the camera in post) and you see how different the subject appears in each shot.

Try this at home. Take four or five pictures spread out two hours each of the same subject with the same camera and lens from the same place. Note how different the subject looks in each photo. By learning to anticipate what light will do you can move from happy accidents where you score a great shot in beautiful light, to well-planned outings where you know what direction the light will be coming from because you’ve scouted and studied and prepared yourself.

Learn how to look for great light. I’ve seen plenty of horrible photos of beautiful places and people in bad light and lots of great photos of less than stellar subjects that happened to be shot in magnificent light.

Love the light.

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  1. [...] a fun article on light play. It’s a great experiment in looking at light. Hard to experiment with the light [...]

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