Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's All About the Light

"My first thought is always of light."
                                  ~Galen Rowell

 I got my start in photography shooting sunrises from my front lawn back in 2003. Though my subject and location were limited, they taught me much about the qualities of light and how quickly they change. A gentle hint from Bryan Peterson (I was taking his online Understanding Exposure class) that there were other things to shoot besides sunrises got me off the lawn and where I am today. Here are a couple from that first year:

 As photographers, we need to pay close attention to light- we need to study it's direction, temperature, quality, intensity and how it is affecting our subjects. After all, as photographers we are painting with light.

Sometimes when I am out shooting, it's the light that actually becomes my subject. Great light on a landscape, flower, building, person, anything really, can take my breath away. At those times it's the light that grabs my attention and makes me want to photograph the subject, and often it's nothing I had planned as my subject.

I shot these two images from my deck last week as the sun was going down, really the last bit of light on the bay. I literally ran for my camera both times! Within minutes, the light was gone, but I had my shots.

Here are a few other images where the light is what caught my eye and really became my subject.

Pay close attention to light. Watch as it changes. Study it. See how it can sometimes make a subject glow or stand out, how it really draws your eye. Watch for backlighting, see how side lighting can enhance texture, how soft lighting can flatter, and how light can become your main subject too.

Happy Shooting!


  1. It is usually the light on something that makes me grab my camera and go out the door. Your comments were right on. Your photos have always been an inspiration. The scarf or shawl on the door always stops me in my tracks. I want to look at it for a long time. Valerie

  2. Lovely blog, Kath, and so true.

  3. What an inspiration you are. Thank you for sharing these beautiful renderings. I get more excited about light than I do about Christmas these late summer days. The barn with the scarf brings me back to a magic day at Meghan's farm. Talk about light! I've been playing with the LB soft focus and loving the results. Thanks for introducing me to that. Your work is wonderful, as always.

  4. Kathleen, I just love the flower pictures, particularly the first two and the last two. You continue to be an inspiration to me for my flower photography. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. It is indeed!
    This is a wonderful post, Kathleen, and as always, your work is simply magical.
    Thank you!

  6. I love your flower pictures, but the shawl truly rocks