I find myself captivated by the magic that can be found within everyday light on a daily basis.
I love to observe, assess and use light in a variety of different ways within my images. When I find and use light in a way that strengthens the message and mood I have planned for an image I utilize the magic that can be found within everyday light.
Here are five of the many ways in which a photographer can find the magic in everyday light:
1. Placement of your subject
Tapping into the magic within everyday light can be as simple as ensuring that your subject is well lit. When a viewer looks at a photograph she or he is naturally attracted to the brightest area within the frame. Before you press your shutter, take a moment to notice where the light is falling within a scene and place your subject within the light. This in turn will illuminate your subject and draw a viewer’s attention into your scene and towards your subject.
In this image my little subject had set up her puzzle construction outside of where the light was falling across the floor. I simply moved her puzzle back into where the light was falling, which allowed for her and her activity to be illuminated.
2. Observe how light changes throughout the day
Have you ever noticed that light has its own unique schedule? Light is constantly changing and moving in different ways throughout the day. In my own environment I am continuously evaluating the light available to me during the day. As a result of my observations I’ve become familiar with how light changes within my everyday environment. I use that knowledge to capture images in the types of light that I know will strengthen the message I have for my images.
I know that the back of my home receives bright and warm light in the morning. If I am seeking a brightly lit image I know that I can use the morning light at the back of my home.
By the time the afternoon has rolled around the sun has moved to the front of my home. I know that the light has now turned moodier and dimmer in the rooms at the back of my house.
3. Light Manipulation
Sometimes a photographer cannot control factors such as moving a subject into a certain type of light or shooting a subject at a certain time of day. In situations such as this it is still possible to find the magic in light. Light manipulation is simply the process of changing the available light within an environment in order to meet the photographer’s vision for an image.
In this image my little subject was on her way out to soccer practise. I wanted to capture her anticipation without relocating her and potentially interfering with the authenticity of the moment. I simply opened the front door, which added light into the scene. The directional light that was added when I opened the door resulted in her being well lit when she had not been before.
4. Consider the mood within light
Light is deeply connected to emotion and mood. Magic occurs when a photographer uses light in a way that compliments an emotion or mood. Become aware of how light makes you feel and what types of light evoke which emotions. Then use this knowledge about light and mood to create images that evoke a specific feeling; this will make for stronger images.
When I want to create a quiet mood that elicits a peaceful moment I will seek out light that compliments that feeling. Indoor semi-dramatic light is a favourite of mine for this type of feel.
When I want to evoke a joyful and carefree mood I will seek out light that compliments those feelings. Dreamy outdoor backlighting is a favourite of mine for this type of mood.
5. Explore light and take risks
I find light’s ever-changing nature to be incredibly inspiring and I enjoy finding new ways to use light to meet my vision for an image. Learning to see and use light as it moves and changes in its forms will help a photographer tap into the magic that is present within everyday light. Don’t be afraid to take risks, break rules, make mistakes and learn. As you do this I am certain you will find the magic in everyday light.
I’d love for you to join me in my upcoming Breakout, Discover the Magic in Everyday Light, where we will talk in detail about light in a way that elevates your photography.