30 May 2012

Learning from My Mistakes: Lighting

So a long while back, I felt really frustrated by lighting when it comes to photography.   I always see these beautiful sun rays and sun flare in others photos and thing..."I want that!!"  I felt really frustrated after shooting Sarah and Bert's engagement photos.  (Sorry guys...my fault :()  But seriously duh....Don't shoot photos is the middle of the day sun, Leitia!!!  Yea we did their session at the absolute worst time of the day lighting wise...and I tried shooting in full sun...instead of finding the shade.  Blech...anyways I did a light experiment in my front yard one day to play and learn.  I mean I know everyone says early morning or just before the sun sets...but I guess it didn't register with me.   Lighting is the most important element in photography.  I mean photography literally means the art or science of capturing light.  Anyways...see my experiment to see for yourself.

7:30am...My cute little model and my favorite plant in my yard.  (What is it again? It is so beautiful in every season.)  The left is with the sun in front of my subject, the right is with the sun behind.  Notice the pretty sun glare :)
10:30am:  Again the left is the sun in front, the right is the sun behind.  Notice the sun is already getting high enough to cause squinting and harsh light.  
1:30pm:  Very harsh light.  Sun in front, sun behind.  Although really the sun is almost directly above at this point.
4:00pm  Sun in front, sun behind.  There was significant cloud coverage at this point on this day so the light is a little softer than it would be at this time on a full sun day.
5:30pm Sun in front, sun behind.
 And another because it is cute.  This one is shot more with the sun at the side.
7:00pm  My model went to bed, so I found a new one :) Sun in front, sun behind.
This is also with the sun behind.  Gah he is handsome!
8:30pm  The sun had pretty much completely set at this point.

Obviously, time of the year determines what the light will be at a given part of the day.  These were shot at the end of April to give you an idea. Clearly, early morning and evening sun are best...the lighting is so much more beautiful...not flat and harsh like midday. Besides timing of day, I learned I prefer images with the sun behind instead of in front....of course I did not shoot any side lit images. Although, with the right timing front lit and back lit are both amazing.  What about you?  What did you learn?  :)

post signature


  1. I've learned that I'll probably never take half as cute pictures as you! And crazy how the times make all the difference for lighting. I would've assumed that the middle of the day with the sun the brightest would make for the best shots. Huh.

  2. Ha you are funny and thanks. But just knowing about the time of day for best lighting can even help you get better shots :)