Light







So, you’ve bought all the right kit and your out in the field, you now face your next challenge - light.

Natural light is a critical aspect of landscape photography, it can make or break a shot. If you’ve decided on a particular scene and the light isn’t right then your images will not going to look their best.

There is no such thing as good light, but there are different types of light;

Front light.

Back light.

Side light.

Diffuse light.

Front light - This occurs when the sun is directly behind you, falling straight onto the scene. This type of light can create a flat scene with a lack of depth and texture.

However you can use this type of light to best effect at the right time of day. ‘Golden hour’, the hour just after sunrise and just before a sunset, when the sun is low in the sky casting a golden glow across the landscape.

A tree line will have its tops cast in a golden glow while the lower branches a still bathed in shadow giving a dramatic contrast.












Back light - This occurs when the sun is directly in front of you. This type of light can be difficult to use in a landscape shot, getting a good exposure in a high contrast is challenging.

This situation can be useful in silhouetting. If you have a subject with a strong shape you can concentrate your metering on the sky, this will cast all other areas into shadow creating a silhouette effect.












Side light - This is one of the more popular types of light in Landscape photography as it comes from the side of  the scene casting contrasting shadows over the landscape, highlighting shape and texture.













Defuse light - Living in Northumberland I’m no stranger to defuse light. This occurs in overcast conditions or in shadow. While overcast skies don’t tend to make for an interesting part of a landscape shot, they do provide soft pastel colours and soft almost misty shadows, creating gentle images.

This is great light for close work such as soft petals and small wildlife shots.


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