When I am roaming about, either on an adventure or going about my day to day stuff,  I am very aware of light.  It can mesmerizes me, captivate my attention instantly OR totally make me say YUK! :-)  This post is a brief guide to explain how different lighting situations may affect your image!

When shooting portraits, or even nature, light can make or break what you see on the computer or printed up.  Paying attention to little details can make your pictures come to life and be the image that you saw when you snapped the shutter!


 -PROS: back light can give the hair a beautiful halo of light and make your subject look very engulfed in warmth and softness.  

-CONS: be careful to manually meter OR have your camera meter on the face of your subject so you don't end up with a silhouette!


-PROS: dramatic and stunning look with colors that are vibrant and popping

-CONS: the look may be a bit "hard" for certain portraits but it really depends on the look you are going for!!


-PROS: none, just find shade to shoot in!

-CONS: too many to list :-) 12:00 is the worst light of the day, IF YOU HAVE A CHOICE, so I would try to avoid shooting in the noon time sun or...find a tree!  Color will be washed out, shadows will be harsh and unflattering.  Of course if it's beyond your control, do your best to get out of the light!


-PROS: the light is very soft, even and  beautiful, and colors tend to be a little more well defined. 

-CONS: it is important to find your light source, even if it's covered by clouds, so you can be sure to light your subject well enough to not have the face or eyes darkened with the shadows.  The bottom image was a partially overcast day.  The snow served as a natural reflector and helped me light her face in a flattering way!


30 minutes (ish) after sunrise or  before sunset.  

-PROS: the most beautiful and flattering light of the day!  I personally prefer the evening sun over the morning sun but it's personal preference!

-CONS: you need to be READY! This window doesn't stay open long!

Reading light can be a very exciting challenge to work with when you are trying to get that photo you want!  It takes time to learn how to read it but the payoff is fantastic once you understand it, even a little! Your pictures will be noticeably more appealing!!

The very best thing to do is take your camera out and PLAY!!  Try different lights, try different angles, make mistakes and learn from them!  It's a fun experiment!!

If you found anything in this blog of value and you think others may as well, please feel free to share this!