Tag Archives: lighting

Wicked Tree Landscape Photography Wall Art Print

Wicked Tree is a landscape photograph that was created at twilight as a car was passing me along the access road of the Reedy Point Marsh just outside of Delaware City limits in Delaware. Title: Wicked Tree Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Landscape Photography

Wicked Tree Landscape Photo

Wicked Tree is a landscape photograph that was created at twilight as a car was passing me along the access road of the Reedy Point Marsh just outside of Delaware City limits in Delaware. Title: Wicked Tree Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Landscape Photography

Wicked Tree is a twilight landscape photograph that was created just after sunset one winter evening as a car was passing by along the access road of the Reedy Point Marsh in the C & D Canal just outside of Delaware City limits in Delaware.

Title: Wicked Tree
Landscape Photographer: Melissa Fague
Genre: Landscape Photography
Item ID#: LAND-0011

Photographic prints are available in:
• Multiple sizes
• Multiple print materials: canvas, fine art photo paper, traditional photo paper, metal prints, wall decals and more
• Framing and mounting options
• Discounting is available for multiple prints (by phone or email)

Go Shopping: PI Photography and Fine Art located in Bear Delaware. Melissa F. in Bear, DE on Houzz

Join our VIP List for exclusive offers, notification for upcoming events and more. To read Melissa’s full story on how she became a nature and landscape photographer please visit: In the Beginning.

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Photography Lighting: Direction of Light

Lighting is one of two key components to photography, the second is having a camera to capture the picture. Without light nothing would ever be able to be photographed, pretty simple concept isn’t it? However, light and lighting in your photography is and always will be the biggest challenge you will ever face. My first impression of lighting for photography was of that one mathematical problem that has 46 different steps to solve. I briefly touched base on Observing the Quality of Light the other day, today I would like to discuss the directions of light.

Light rays move in a straight line , illuminating only what they strike. What makes this so tricky is light bounces off of things and forms another straight line, and another, and another. Light can also be filtered by things and absorbed by others. In order to be a successful photographer you must be able to access the direction from which the light is coming in order to plan how your photograph to appear. The direction of light can flatten your subject, give definition to the subjects details, wash out the details, or creatively add mood.

Portait photo by landscape and nature photographer Melissa Fague
Steph 2012  Standard 45 degree example Created by Melissa Fague

The rule of thumb for well lit indoor and outdoor photographs is to shoot with the light or the sun falling over the photographers shoulder at a 45 degree angle.  This angle allows the light to illuminate your subject with minimal shadows cast in the contours, this is an especially good rule to follow for shooting standard portraits.

Over head light, such as mid-day sun coming directly down on your subject. This works fairly well for landscapes but it will cause deep shadows. If shooting a portrait the heavy shadowed area will appear around the eyes, a main focal point that people naturally gravitate to when viewing a portrait. I don’t recommend relying solely on natural light mid-day if you want a portrait of your family member. If you want to go all natural use a white reflector to counter act the effects of the mid day sun or overhead light by reflecting light back up onto your subject in the shadowed areas.

Sidelight is very dramatic. If only one light is used it will illuminate one side of your subject while allowing the other side to fall into shadows. Using a fill light on the opposite side of the main light will counter act this. By adjusting the intensity, distance, and filters of the fill light you will be able to offer a range of detail in the shadows.

Portait photo by landscape and nature photographer Melissa Fague

Jeff Low Key,  1 side light example Created by: Melissa Fague

Front lighting is when the light and the camera are directly in front of the subject. This often flattens the details of the subject because the shadows which create dimensions are washed out.

Up lighting, I found very few applications for up lighting. It’s a techniques that resembles the old 1920s horror movie posters when you use it in portraiture. It is however, a very beautiful way to light landscapes and architecture when photographing them at twilight or night.

Glowing Rose is a nature photograph of a white rose from the Brandywine Rose garden in Wilmington, Delaware. The rose was back lit with a remote flash to create the glow of the petals. Title: Glowing Rose 2 Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Nature Photography Brilliant Yellow is a very simple nature photograph that emphasizes the bold yellow hue of an autumn leaf. This image was created by use of lighting the leaf from behind in order to create the bright glow of yellow.  Title: Brilliant Yellow  Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Nature Photography
Glowing Rose and Brilliant Yellow created by Melissa Fague – Nature photography

Back lighting is very interesting and it’s fun to do. You can create silhouettes with back lighting or depending on the material of your subject, back lighting can make the objects appear to glow like the images above.

Light illuminates our subject but as photographers we have the ability to capture special moments, create mood or drama, and emphasize our artistic vision with it. My advise is to take a light and practice a little with each of these directions to see how the shadows are created. I hope you enjoyed this article, the next article will be on the characteristic of light.

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Characteristic of Light For Nature and Landscape Photography

Light has many characteristics and each one will react differently to your subject, and in your photograph. Light that emanates from one single source with no filtration can be harsh or hard and may be unflattering to your subject depending on how you want your photograph to look. Hard light creates very sharp defined edges of your shadows and the closer the light source is to your subject the more intense that harshness will be. For me, with Landscape Photography, I really like to use midday light that is harsh for my Black and White images; I love the strong contrast.

Soft light is created my filtering the light emanating from the light source. The filters work just like the lamp shades in your home; in nature the clouds or haze in the sky becomes the filter. Light will pass through the filter but the intensity will change depend on the material and the depth of the material. Soft light is also created by using a diffuser, a diffuser usually has different patterns molded into it which allows light to ricochet off in a different direction.  With soft light the shadows are not as dark and the edges fade off gradually. The color of the softened light will be altered by the color of the material filtering the light. Take for example sun light filtering there a wooded area, the hue of the light will become more green… or red depending on the season.

Natural Light

Landscape Photography: Wicked Tree Created By Nature and Landscape Photographer Melissa Fague

Wicked Tree created by Melissa Fague – Landscape Photography

I hate to point out the obvious but natural light characteristic change continuously throughout the day, you see theses change as the sun passes over us. However, most people do not realize that light characteristics change with the seasons as well. If you have ever seen a sunrise or sunset in the summer and one in the winter you’ll know what I’m talking about. During the summer months two things happen; first the sun is closer to the earth and secondly there is more haze in the sky from evaporation than during the winter months.  In the summer, the sunlight reflects off the microscopic water molecules which produces a more powerful golden color throughout the sky at sunrise and sunset. During the winter months there is less moisture in the atmosphere and the sun is further away so during sunrise there is more whites visible around the sun and blues in the sky. The same thing happens at sunset but it is less noticeable because of all our daily activity; we stir up minuet particles of dust and then there’s the pollution; both react similar to the moisture haze. Check out the two photographs above: The first photograph Sunset Over Woodland Marsh was capture in mid August while Wicked Tree was capture in Late January, look at the difference in colors and hues. The entire mood and temperature of each photograph is completely different.

Artificial Light

There are three types of artificial light sources, incandescent, fluorescent, and LED. Incandescent light are warmer in tone so there is normally a yellowish tint to the light that it emanates. Fluorescent lights give off a blue color tint.  Our eyes are accustomed to these lights so they adapt very quickly to their color casts however when it come to photography it’s a completely different story. Both of these light sources usually require an adjustment to your white balance setting either before in camera or after the shoot in post product. LED is a cleaner light source with little to no color cast.

Each characteristic can be used to your advantage in photography but you need to understand what they are and how you can use them or lose them depending on your needs for your particular shoot. The color casting can add a bit of drama to an image and create an artistic mood to your scene. Thank you for reading, I hope you found it helpful. The next article, Working with the Light is now available.

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About the Author and Photographer:

Me

Melissa Fague is an emerging nature and landscape photographer from Bear, Delaware USA. In just a few short years her work has been published over two dozen times and she has won multiple national and international awards for her beautiful photographs. Her most recent accomplishment is her first published photograph in an international publication with a worldwide distribution, “Landscape Photography Magazine”. Melissa is passionate about the art of photography and nature. Exploring areas and creating photographs is her form of stress relief and art therapy, but she also loves to share her visions so that others can enjoy. Her goal is to one day be ranked among the most famous nature photographers in the world. All of Melissa’s nature and landscape photographs are available for purchase, visit Pi Photography and Fine Art.

Join our VIP List for exclusive offers, notification for upcoming events and more. To read Melissa’s full story on how she became a nature and landscape photographer please visit: In the Beginning.

Photography Lighting: Direction of Light

Lighting is one of two key components to photography, the second is having a camera to capture the picture. Without light nothing would ever be able to be photographed, pretty simple concept isn’t it? However, light and lighting in your photography is and always will be the biggest challenge you will ever face. My first impression of lighting for photography was of that one mathematical problem that has 46 different steps to solve. I briefly touched base on Observing the Quality of Light the other day, today I would like to discuss the directions of light.

Light rays move in a straight line , illuminating only what they strike. What makes this so tricky is light bounces off of things and forms another straight line, and another, and another. Light can also be filtered by things and absorbed by others. In order to be a successful photographer you must be able to access the direction from which the light is coming in order to plan how your photograph to appear. The direction of light can flatten your subject, give definition to the subjects details, wash out the details, or creatively add mood.

Steph_Best-2
Steph 2012  Standard 45 degree example Created by Melissa Fague

The rule of thumb for well lit indoor and outdoor photographs is to shoot with the light or the sun falling over the photographers shoulder at a 45 degree angle.  This angle allows the light to illuminate your subject with minimal shadows cast in the contours, this is an especially good rule to follow for shooting standard portraits.

Over head light, such as mid-day sun coming directly down on your subject. This works fairly well for landscapes but it will cause deep shadows. If shooting a portrait the heavy shadowed area will appear around the eyes, a main focal point that people naturally gravitate to when viewing a portrait. I don’t recommend relying solely on natural light mid-day if you want a portrait of your family member. If you want to go all natural use a white reflector to counter act the effects of the mid day sun or overhead light by reflecting light back up onto your subject in the shadowed areas.

Sidelight is very dramatic. If only one light is used it will illuminate one side of your subject while allowing the other side to fall into shadows. Using a fill light on the opposite side of the main light will counter act this. By adjusting the intensity, distance, and filters of the fill light you will be able to offer a range of detail in the shadows.

Antique Plates effect (Nik)

Jeff Low Key,  1 side light example Created by: Melissa Fague

Front lighting is when the light and the camera are directly in front of the subject. This often flattens the details of the subject because the shadows which create dimensions are washed out.

Up lighting, I found very few applications for up lighting. It’s a techniques that resembles the old 1920s horror movie posters when you use it in portraiture. It is however, a very beautiful way to light landscapes and architecture when photographing them at twilight or night.

     Glowing Rose is a nature photograph of a white rose from the Brandywine Rose garden in Wilmington, Delaware. The rose was back lit with a remote flash to create the glow of the petals.   Title: Glowing Rose 2 Photographer: Melissa Fague Genre: Nature Photography

Glowing Rose created by Melissa Fague – Nature photography

Back lighting is very interesting and it’s fun to do. You can create silhouettes with back lighting or depending on the material of your subject, back lighting can make the objects appear to glow like the images above.

Light illuminates our subject but as photographers we have the ability to capture special moments, create mood or drama, and emphasize our artistic vision with it. My advise is to take a light and practice a little with each of these directions to see how the shadows are created. I hope you enjoyed this article, the next article will be on the characteristic of light.

Save