This article is intended to give beginner photographers the basic information about using sunlight in digital photography. Through these discussions, you will learn to create better images because you 'see' light in a new fashion. The old saying goes 'if the camera is the photographer's brush, then is light is their paint'. As a photographer, you must learn to choose your light as carefully as an artist selects his paint.
We know that all light has certain characteristics, whether it is from an artificial source or the sun. These characteristics can portray a feeling in your images. At high noon, the light is bright and harsh. On a rainy day, the light is gloomy as it is diffused by precipitation. Moonlight speaks of eerie mystery. What is the mood of the light you see now?
The measurable brightness of light is called the intensity. A light's intensity will diminish over distance. A strobe gives out a large burst of very bright light but over a relatively small distance. Keep in mind, that even very a bright light will only go so far to illuminate your subject so you will need to plan accordingly.
All light has an origin and direction of travel. In the case of a single source, it is easy to determine the direction of travel. If diffusers or multiple lights are used, individual sources may be difficult or impossible to trace back.
Light has a color property. A light's color is dependent on two variables. First is the originating source. Second is what the light passes through. Artificial lights like incandescent, fluorescent or strobes all have different color properties than the sun. The specific time of day and atmospheric conditions also play a significant role in determining the color of sunlight.
If you are going to be traveling to popular tourist destination, here's a landscape photography tip you can use to improve your work. To avoid the crowds from showing up in your shots, try showing up at your location during the off hours. You may be able to get in early and get a lot done before everyone else arrives. If that won't work, try being one the first to be admitted in. When there are other people around, be patient. Have your camera ready to shoot when there is no one in the frame.
Many professional photographers prefer to work with natural light because of it's ability to help tell the picture's story in a way the no artificial light can match. Try experimenting by photographing the same subject in the same location but at different times of the day. You will see how dramatically your subject will change simply because of the natural light that falls on it.