How Natural Light Can Enhance Your Photographs

Sure, most people know about “the golden hour,” that magical time at sunrise and sunset where the sky lights up on fire. Taking pictures during these times will dramatically improve the quality of your shots, unlike any camera filter can do. Women, men, and children actually come alive during this time of day. The smile is softer, their eyes show more love, and their gaze is soft. People literally shine during the golden hour.

Depending on the mood you are aiming for, photos taken just before a storm, can have a dramatic effect. The effects of sunlight beaming down, post a rain storm, is remarkable. Make sure to look out for that hidden gem, the rainbow. Capturing a rainbow in a gorgeous scene, without traffic signs and cars in the shot can be a magical experience.

Photos taken of people around water (the beach, springs, and pools) are best avoided during the sunniest part of the day. This is the time that the sun is directly above people and the rays can create a shadow over-head, while the face is flooded with light. Capturing people swimming, splashing, and boating during the golden hair will reflect extra light, reflecting off the water. This pink and orange light will add a dramatic effect, like no other. Freckles will appear golden, hair will sparkle, and eyes will shine.

When scheduling photography sessions for couples and families, it is recommended to set aside 3-4 hours. Choosing a venue with multiple outdoor and indoor spaces, will allow for spontaneity, giving the photographer more opportunities. A combination of sunny and shady places, grass and concrete, trees, fountains, and sculptures, will all add to the flare of the photograph. Indoor spaces with skylights offer unique blasts of light, which can create a contrasting mood.

When taking photos indoors, on sunny days, it’s best to have the photographer stand near the window. If the natural light is to the photographers back, the photo will reflect the light on the faces or items that are meant to be in the picture. However, if a silhouette is desired, place the intended in front of a sunny window.

As a photographer, it’s best to always be prepared with your camera for the time when the lighting speaks to you. You will know when the urge strikes, having no choice but to start using your camera. This desire can be compared to a writer who is suddenly flooded with ideas and must write them down. that very minute.

For a fun challenge, take a photo of something outside, a plant, a table, or a person, each hour from sunrise to sunset. This project works best on a sunny day. For anyone interested in learning more about photography, this can be a great way to be educated, first hand, on the effects of natural light on a subject. In general, there are no rules to photography. Take pictures, loads of pictures, and share those that you love. Learn from those you don’t love.

September 23, 2019

Anastacia Elizabeth Walden

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