In the beginning, we think it’s all about the camera.
Then we think it’s all about the lens.
Eventually, we know it’s all about the light.
The bottom line is this, we need light to make an image. Everything else is technique, it’s all in how you use the light.
We can use light to enhance your composition or we can use light as your composition.
Light has different qualities at different times of the day:
- Before dawn and after sunset – the blue hours
- Just after dawn and just before sunset – the golden hours
- Mid-day – the bright hours – light can be harsh, creating extreme highlights and shadows
Direct and indirect light have unique qualities. Direct light, say on a sunny day, throws distinct shadows increasing dynamic range, shade or indirect light is softer, throwing muted shadows.
The golden hour begins. The silver hull of the fishing boat has taken on a golden hue.
Intense golden hour light illuminates a train near Winnipeg, 2012. The golden light is so intense that it overpowers the colours of the containers.
Evening on the Mississippi River in New Orleans, 2012. The golden hour giving way to the blue hour. Still some of the golden glow.
The blue hour. Looking to the west near Winnipeg, we can see the remnants of sunset colours in the lower part of the sky.