If someone asked me several years ago what had been the most important thing in photography I would probably had replied – Subject. However, now my answer is completely different – it’s Light. No matter how beautiful the subject is (whether a gorgeous model or amazing landscape) it will look bad if the light is bad. On a dull day landscape will look flat, lacking colours and contrast and therefore boring. With harsh light the face of the model will be full of ugly shadows (which aren’t there under “good” light).
But when the light is good, when it’s beautiful you even don’t need gorgeous subject to get a nice shot. But if you capture some amazing subject under this amazing light and you will get a truly wonderful photo.
As a landscape photographer I’m always looking for that “good” light. It doesn’t occur often unfortunately. Not only the best light happens for just a couple of minutes a day (in the morning and late afternoon) – known as golden hours but also not each golden hour is as beautiful. If there are no clouds the light won’t be that beautiful as it could be. Clouds are changing directions of sun rays (they are both diffusing, reflecting and refracting sun rays but it’s rather complicated phenomena) and therefore we see how they change colour. So addition of clouds is rather welcome. But if there are too many of them we will again end up with rather boring looking scene which wouldn’t be warm at all but rather gray. And clouds aren’t the only factor influencing light during golden hour. Particles in the air, time of the year amongst many more influence it. And you also need patience and a bit of luck.
With the photo above I think I got most of it (with a lot of luck as I had arrived there just a couple of minutes before this Nature’s show started). I’m really pleased with the light in it. So much I didn’t even use HDR – it’s a single exposure. A single exposure full of some very nice light 🙂
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 40 mm
Exposure time: 1/160
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod used: no
Filters used: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6