Pursuing Life's Daring Adventure

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Photography: The Magic of Shooting in Low Light

This is the second in a series of posts about photography. Click here to read the first.

I love visiting the ocean, and having time on the beach. To me, there is something about the rhythmic crashing of waves, the wide feeling of timelessness, and the gentle scrubbing of the saltwater and sugary sand to wipe away all of the world’s cares. I love being at the beach.

Sunset on Italy's Maremma, over the Mediterranean
When I brought my first camera to the beach, I made the classic mistake time and time again. And I was always disappointed with my photographs. The colors always appeared washed out, my subjects were always squinting, and the objects I was trying to capture for remembrance always turned out pale. One morning, when I was up with the sun, I watched the woman staying next door to us, out with her impressive camera. After she was done taking photographs, she chatted with me for a moment, and made a comment I’ll never forget. “At the beach, don’t even bother to take photos when the sun is high. Only shoot at sunrise or sunset.”

The day's first light, on an Aromatherapy rose
Since then, I have found her words to be true, for more than just taking photos at the beach. Because when the lighting is low, the colors are rich, and the photographs become magical.

The same type of rose, under high light
When I had a garden in the United States with many roses, my favorite time to be in the garden was at dawn, with my camera in hand, as the light turned the dew into diamonds, and the roses and other flowers sparkled like gemstones in the low sunlight. 

Lavendar Illusion daylily, with low light
I began comparing the photographs I took in low light with the photographs taken in high sunlight, or with a flash, and the difference was unmistakable. 

Lavendar Illusion, taken at midday with a cloudy sky

Lavendar Illusion, again with low light
Starting the Conversation: Can you see the difference? Do you have examples of times when you’ve noticed your photos are better than other times? 

Please, leave a comment, and / or send in your own photos, of a scene that you love, and I’ll post it in a future blog and link it back to you. Just email your favorite photo to me at photos at jenniferlynking dot com. I’ll be collecting them over the next several weeks. I can’t wait to see your work! Thank you, Jennifer

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