Waiting for the Light

I was watching the sun come up this morning and it got me thinking again about how important light is to photography and how quickly light can change. Of course one of the keys is to be able to work very quickly which means knowing your equipment, knowing the location and knowing your technique. A few years back I wrote this post about one such day and thought it might be wise to rekindle the ideas. These images were pulled out from approximately 30 different photographs shot within a 15 minute time frame.

Photography is about light. I’m always a little surprised when I see photographers rushing around trying to capture scenery, only to complain at a later date that none of their images have “magic” to them. Five minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time to work with but as a photographer much can be accomplished in this short period of time. The mood of a subject can change dramatically as these two images show. Next time you are out for a shoot slow down and watch what happens.

7:59:17 AM

7:59:17 AM

8:04:14 AM

8:04:14 AM

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7 Responses to “Waiting for the Light”

  1. Kim says:

    Wow.. WOW..those two shots are so different due to the light source.. great article ..

  2. LisaNewton says:

    What a great example!! I’ve tried to capture the sunrise a few times, only to not have the lighting just right, or the clouds, or the location, or the haze.

    Light does play an important part, but so many other things also matter.

  3. kevin says:

    You are right about so many other factors as well. This is one of the really hard items to teach to wannabe photographers. Everything has to come together, preferably at the same time and no, you can’t fix most problems in Photoshop like so many people believe.

    I would estimate that about 2/3rds of the time I head out early in the morning nothing really happens and I come back with photos but nothing that excites me. Part of the job.

  4. kevin says:

    Hi Kim,

    The light sure does make a difference in these two images. I’m planning on putting some other images illustrating light in the next week once I get home again.

  5. Bryan says:

    What a great and simple example. I’m always telling my non-photo friends, “Look at that light! Don’t you see it?” They usually do but only after its pointed out to them.

    Found your site through the Problogger project. So glad I did! Can’t wait to explore more when I get home this evening!

  6. […] Waiting for the Light, Kevin Oke — What an amazing difference 5 minutes can make! […]

  7. kevin says:

    Hi Bryan,

    You’re right about non-photo people not seeing the light. What is amazing is to take them out early in the morning where they can experience it first hand and get an appreciation for the changes that happen. The only tough part of that is getting them out of bed!

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