Friday Photo Tip: Quality of Light.

So you’ve spent a few good hours exploring a new place and you think you’ve finally found that definitive scene. You take care to shoot from various angles and try a variety of lenses. You work the composition until it feels just right.

You scroll through your images on the LCD and a sense of satisfaction washes over you. Start packing it up. On to the next location, right? Not so fast!

Yes, you’re happy with the image. Yes, you’re content with your composition. But how will this scene look later in the evening? Early next morning? What is the weather forecast for the next few days?

If you think something is worth documenting then it’s worth documenting well. You’re pleased with what you photographed in the daylight? Great. Now go back there at twilight and you’ll see something quite different. That brief period of transition between darkness and light called the gloaming will enhance almost any scene. If there is a building in your shot the interior lights can add interesting color elements to the image as well.

Time is a luxury we don’t often get to enjoy, it’s true. In those cases you just have to make the best of it. But when you do have time, take advantage. Go back to the same spot. Shoot it again. You’ll find it’s well worth your effort.

Martin Luther King Memorial

Martin Luther King Memorial


Friday Photo Tip: Get Close

One easy way to improve your photos is to get close to your subject. Then get closer. And just when you think you’re close enough, get even closer!

Birthday parties are perfect for this. Also, parades, backyard picnics and weddings. Occasions where cameras and photographers are expected and embraced. Get out there and shoot. But no sitting across the room comfortably clicking away. You need to walk over and sit down among the screechy children or get out on the dance floor with the celebrants. If the barbecue smoke isn’t burning your eyes, you’re not close enough.

And no big, heavy, long lenses. They have their uses, yes, but creating a sense of intimacy is not one of them.

Don’t be shy. Get close.