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Get the Light Right

Light is the fundamental element of photography after all the original meaning of the word ‘photography’ was ‘paint with light’. But depending on time of day, season, weather and other factors the difference in mood light gives to an image can be startling. The art of getting the most out of the light is to look and really think about just how it is affecting the subject in the viewfinder. Here are some quick tips to help you.
Direct sunlight washes the subject with warm light but light quality can be critical. Pictures taken in the morning light have soft shadows because the light has not penetrated and the highlights are deliciously warm and inviting and paint prominent features. Afternoon light is lower in the sky and shadows lengthen and deepen but the light tends to have a rosy glow. At sunset the light gets scattered into warm glorious colors because it has travelled through the atmosphere – magic hour.

Great Example of Waiting for Magic Light:
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Use light to create a silhouette. The high contrast of a silhouette creates impact and when done properly can focus attention on the subject.

A beautiful example of a nude accentuated by silhouette:
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Move your subject into the best light try direct light as well as dappled shade to change the mood.

Ramin has deliberately used soft diffused light through a window to great effect:
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For fixed subjects find an angle where the light is more favorable or wait til the angle of the light changes – changing the angle of the light can drastically change the image by accentuating a prominent feature.

Geoff has waited until the light has created stark relief with the Opera House Sails:
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Wait – if you think the light is great now, it may be better. Light quality changes quickly at the best times so shoot quickly but be patient.

This image shows light starting to spread:
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18 March 2013

Love the last photograph - shows all elements and motion. Great pic :cool: