To learn the magic of light, get up before sunrise… and watch. – Ted Grant
I am not really a morning person, but I must admit that the light that time of day is truly a gift to photographers. Today I used three different techniques to capture the morning light. Even though these photos were taken just minutes apart (and within 5 feet of each other), the results differ dramatically due to the way I positioned myself to capture the light.
In the photo above, I defiantly broke the ‘Avoid Lens Flare!’ rule and purposely aimed my camera to collect the flare. There are countless articles out there claiming that lens flare can ‘ruin an otherwise perfect photograph.’ Really? I beg to differ. When used creatively, lens flare can have a wonderful effect. Just look at what the flare did for my image of this tiny leaf unfurling in the morning sun.
In the first photo below, I chose a more traditional lighting approach. The soft back lighting and slight underexposure compliment the shallow DOF to give this image an intimate feel. It is almost as if you are peeking in on the flowers as they are waking up.
Finally, in the last photo I embraced the harsh shadows created by the angled sunlight as it struck my backyard fence. Another commonly touted rule of photography is ‘Avoid Harsh Shadows!’ While I agree with that statement in many instances, the high contrast tones created by bright light/dark shadows are the perfect ingredients for striking black & white photography.
So there you have it – three photos, three different lighting techniques. All before 9:00 in the morning. Not bad for someone who doesn’t consider herself much of a morning person.