Capturing the Glow

Paria River, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah (UT), USA

Whats makes these canyon walls glow? This is a perfect example of reflected light. The shot was taken on a bright, sunny day. Direct sunlight bounced from the wall of the canyon just around the bend. The glowing walls were lit indirectly with that bouncing sunlight. Notice that Jay chose to frame the photograph so that no part of the photo was lit directly by the harsh sunlight. The reflected light is much more even, so there are no blinding blown highlights. You can even see some subtle detail in the dark shadows deep in the canyon – and in the cracks in the foreground.

We use reflected light all the time – not just to capture reflections on water, but also to bring out colors and details in scenes like this one. Shooting at mid-day doesn’t have to be taboo – just watch for lighting situations like these. Pay close attention to the light no matter where you are, and try to frame your image so that harsh light is eliminated.

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

  • Pete

    I was wondering what settings you use to shoot the canyon? Tjanks

    • This depends upon the amount of light you have and how you are trying to compose your photos. Unfortunately there is no one correct answer.