Tuesday’s tip – Finding great light outdoors

One of the greatest strengths of a professional photographer is the ability to find great light outdoors. On our photo adventure last weekend, Katrina and I decided to see if we could find a great new location. What does this really mean. Well it means backgrounds, foregrounds, props, shapes, textures and most of all great light.

You can see great light in this photograph of Ella and her Lion. If you look at the rock work on the right side of the image you see a nice, not too bright, diffuse light. The shadow side of the rock work, where Ella is standing, has a great contrast to that bright side. This is great light. It will help to show the shape of her face. It will bring out the colour of her eyes and the texture of her clothing. This is what professional photographers look for when on an adventure. What Katrina and I then do is add reflectors, off camera flash and a little photoshop to make the final image sing.

So what are you looking for? Subtle contrast between two sides of a tree or the corner of a building. Too much contrast and you get racoon eyes (big dark circles where the eyes are), too little and you get flat images (images that don’t show any of the details, like shape that we mentioned earlier). It takes practice, but start looking when you are out on an adventure and you too will be able to see great light. It’s everywhere.

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