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« Flip it | Main | The Biggest Filter »

Waiting for the light

The expression “patience is a virtue” is clearly evident in doing landscape photography. I often find that the difference between a pleasing image and a powerful image is simply waiting for the light to add drama to the scene. It could be taking the time to allow a cloud to create interesting patterns or shadows as it passes overhead, or waiting for the sun to drop behind a rock to highlight a feature in the scene you are capturing.

Just look at the difference between the image below, and the image above. Though taken just a couple of minutes apart, a cloud passing overhead takes a picture that looks a bit flat, and creates more focus on the central part of the rocks in the image above. The result is that the eye is guided to the texture and shapes of the rocks in a better way, and this makes for a more impactful image.

Here’s another example. When I first saw this scene, and snapped the first picture, the light was flat. By waiting a few minutes for an opening in the clouds and allowing the light to travel across the land until it illuminated the rocks, I got better separation of the rock surfaces and greater depth overall.

There are times were we have to hurry, but when shooting landscapes, having patience to wait for the light is clearly worthwhile.

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