Photo Basics 101: Finding the Perfect Light
PHOTO BASICS 101: FINDING THE PERFECT LIGHT By Freelance Travel Photographer, Doug Mazell
The first and last light of day almost always provides breath-taking opportunities, wherever you are.
If you’re not an early riser, make it a point to get out at least a few times before dawn. Pick a beautiful park or beach near you and sit there as the first light of day paints the sky and begins to illuminate the ground below.
This is it — one of the most magnificent sights in nature. Wherever you are, start taking shots of these early moments, and you’ll begin to have a feel for how fast light changes, and the marvelous opportunities it opens up.
Same with sunsets. Sunsets are as good (maybe even better) than sunrises. Check your local paper for the sunrise and sunset times. Make sure you’re in position a good half-hour before the event begins — one minute, it will be the daytime we all take for granted. But all of a sudden, if you watch carefully, the light will begin retreating. Now we’re watching the opposite of the sunrise.
And once again, as the light retreats into darkness, you’ll see how fast it changes. The sky and the earth around you will change minute by minute. You can even feel the changes in mood as we go from day to night.
Also, during the day, be aware of how clouds can change the light — again, sometimes in a few short minutes.
You can do this anywhere in the world.
Wherever you are, start these exercises. And start practicing taking your shots. Do it on your next trip, too. And try a few different areas near your home. If there’s another fabulous beach, park or mountain an hour away, make it a point to get there before dawn and for sunset at least once.
[Doug Mazell is a professional photographer and author of Money Making Travel Photography, a compact guide to travel photography designed specifically for freelance travel writers. In it you’ll learn everything you need to begin taking photos that will bring in checks. Find out the simplest and best camera to take with you (you don’t want to be lugging a trunk full of equipment like some nature photographers)… how to use time of day… create a mood… how to photograph people… and more. Plus, it will teach you all the insider’s secrets to getting your photos published. It’s yours free when you enroll in The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Course.]
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