Taking better pictures

The impact of afternoon lighting

The impact of afternoon lighting

Bill Raymond

My wife and I take lots of pictures when we are on vacation. One of the major reasons for this is to preserve the memory of some of the beautiful places we visit. Sometimes two weeks after we return we have a hard time remembering the details of where we’ve been. We also like to share them with family and friends who have an interest in our travels.

There are many ways to share pictures these days. One of our favorites is photo books that are easy to make and economical to produce.

When we share pictures with others, some pictures receive more comments than others. What those pictures have in common is often the lighting.

Photo Tip One

On sunny days, take pictures in the early morning or late afternoon. The color temperature of the light does wonders for subjects, especially landscapes. The long shadows add interest and certain backlit plants (like cactus spines) radiate light. At other times in the day, when the sun goes higher in the sky, pictures become too contrasty with overexposed highlights and shadows without detail.

Photo Tip Two

Take pictures on cloudy days. If you are taking pictures of people, this has a couple of benefits; your subjects won’t squint and there won’t be harsh shadows. On sunny days you can simulate this effect by taking pictures on a covered patio or under dense trees where the people are shielded from direct sunlight.

Try these ideas and see if they make a difference in your picture taking.

Bill teaches Photography Basic and Intermediate Workshops as part of the Art Club offering of courses. Photography Basic-October 16/23.Photography Intermediate November 4/11. For more information look in the sign-up folders in the Expressions Gallery of the Arts and Crafts Building.