3 More Mistakes to Avoid When Working with Light

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Continued from: 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Working with Light

Not Shooting at Midday

Ask any seasoned photographer or read any photography book… they both say that, to capture great photos, it is best to avoid the harsh midday light.

It is true that you can get some fantastic photos during the golden hours, but midday light is can also be spectacular. You can use midday light in a variety of different way to capture stunning photos. Here are few examples of photos captured at midday.

  • Bruarfoss, Iceland

  • Midday Spotlight Effect, Yellowstone, Wyoming

  • Midday Reflected Light at House on Fire, Utah (UT), USA

Shooting at midday not only allows you to maximize your photography time on location, but it also allows you to diversify your portfolio.

Not Knowing How Light Interacts with the Subject

Working with light requires you to know how light interacts with your subject. When I was trying photograph this sea urchin, I noticed that the reflected light from the bright white areas in the background was causing the “rainbow effect” around the spines of the sea urchin. This made the photo look out of focus. When I chose a different sea urchin that was surrounded by darker background, I was able to capture my subject with striking details and without any distracting “rainbow distortions”.

  • Working with Light, Sea Urchin, Big Island, Hawaii

    Working with Light, Sea Urchin, Big Island, Hawaii

  • Sharp Details, Sea Urchin, Big Island, Hawaii

    Sharp Details, Sea Urchin, Big Island, Hawaii

  • Rainbow effect making the subject appear soft, Sea Urchin Details, Big Island, Hawaii

    Rainbow effect making the subject appear soft, Sea Urchin Details, Big Island, Hawaii

Here is another example from Iceland captured during the filming of our Illuminated Course. At first glance, this photos seemed like an evenly-lit scene that would be easy to capture with a single exposure. However, working with light required me to use a 3-stop GND filter to balance the light between the sky and the foreground.

3-stop GND filter used to control light, Vestrahorn, Iceland

Not Knowing How to Process Photos

One of the most important aspects of working with light comes into play during post-processing. When shooting a studio portrait, you want to make sure that light sources are controlled and no unwanted color casts are present in the image. However, this is not the case for landscape photography. In the following image, Varina left the blue color cast in her image to give the cool feeling to the ice.

  • Blue color cast on ice, Aspen Leaf on Ice – Utah, USA

  • Blue Color Cast Removed from Ice, Aspen Leaf on Ice – Utah, USA

Similarly, here are few images from Badwater Salt flats in Death Valley National Park where Jay choose to leave the color cast that was present in the field.

  • Golden Hour at Badwater, Death Valley, California (CA), USA

  • Blue Hour at Badwater, Death Valley, California (CA), USA

This is exactly the type of information in our  Illuminated Course and Working with Light course. Our Illuminated Course gives you a first-hand look at how to capture great travel and landscape photos in any type of light. Working with Light uses the cases studies from our Illuminated Course and shows you how the choose the post processing based workflow depending on the type of light.

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About Author Jay Patel

I could startoff like this – “Seeds of Jay Patel’s appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in his childhood….” but it would get boring really fast. I will just sum it up and say that I am a Landscape and Wilderness Photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. My photographs have been published in various magazines, calendars and advertising materials throughout the world.
Patience is a virtue...unless you are chasing your dreams