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Light In Photography

As photographers we have a close connection with light, it is the single most important element to any single photograph. We are able to control how much light enters our cameras by manipulating the shutter speed, aperture and ISO speed and by doing this we can construct several different effects. It is not just the in camera controls that dictate the light available, external sources such as flush guns, studio lights, reflectors and various other pieces of kit can influence the amount of light as well as the direction it takes to enter lens.

The time of day and weather conditions are a major factor in the end result of any photograph. If you want an image with warm, golden colours then the hour after the sun rises and before it sets are the best times to achieve this, or the hour before/after if you want cool, blue tones. Even the time of year plays a key role in how your photograph as the sun is at different heights in the sky, the location it rises, and sets are also different.

Recently I visited Llyn Padarn to photograph that tree. My visit was in late spring and at the golden hour leading to sunset which positioned the sun behind me rather than in front as it would be for a sunrise. This meant the light was falling on top the mountains in the distance instead of rising behind and shining through. Due to the position of the light source (the sun) being dictated by the time of the day, the image I came away with is different to what someone would have got at midday or for sunrise. The position of the sun is not only the factor here, but also the intensity the light coming from it, again for example the sun at midday is much stronger and harsh than it is when it’s rising or setting.

Overall, I feel I achieved the goal I set out for the shoot, which was a well-lit image with warm colours. Should I visit Llyn Padarn again,  I will try another time of day, from the many images of this location on the internet there are so many interesting screens throughout the year and in different weather conditions.

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