The Importance of Light

sandhill craneLight – without it, in most cases a photograph will just be “good”, never “great”.

As photographers we can never underestimate the importance of light in our photographs. In most situations we either have to arrive very early in the morning, or capture our subject in the late afternoon and early evening light. There are of course exceptions to this such as when shooting the stars, or finding some great light produced by storms at any time of day. Quite simply put, without obvious great light on your subject, what technically may be a “good” photograph, will likely fall short of being a “great” photograph. Light, along with subject, background, composition, and the technical elements of the image are all key players in producing an excellent photograph.

All too often photographers are just plain lazy, and go out mid afternoon and perhaps capture a great subject, but the image they produce likely will be lacking any type of complimentary light. This is a sad situation, as what is just a “good” photograph could have been a “great” photograph with a little more effort on the photographer’s part.

Bird photography is one of the most difficult types of photography to do well. You not only need to research where your subject may be found, but you need to look at weather as well as what type of light to expect to ensure fast enough shutter speeds to capture birds in flight if you are looking to freeze motion. If you are falling short in any of these areas, especially “light”, again you will only be producing “good” images at best.

So never forget the one element that all photography is based around, and let “light” shape your images into something “great” that will clearly show that you put effort into all the elements that make your image pop.

Snowy OwlLower Three Corner Falls - WashingtonBosque Del Apache, New MexicoBald EagleHoh Rainforest - WashingtonFish Lake - Steens Mountain, OR

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