Creating GREAT images when shooting in BAD light!

It is not the camera, it is the photographer that matters!

Travel Photography—Conventional wisdom tells us that the best lighting is when the sun is low and behind the photographer, and you won’t get an argument from me on this point. In fact, we devoted a blog post last week to the topic of the beauties and hazards of photographing people in this “magic” light. However, don’t put your camera away just because the light is not perfect, especially when photographing scenics. You can, in fact, create beautiful images in the “worst” lighting situations, like when your subject is backlit!

Waikiki Palm Trees

Create dramatic images by shooting straight into sun! The trick for us is to underexpose the images. My favorite image from this series is the photograph that Joan created of the beach in front of our hotel room in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines at low tide. She created the almost otherworldly image with her phone! Trees are also great subjects for this effect and I love using the bright highlights that the sun still creates on the water even with a very underexposed image.

Haleiwa, Hawaii

Next week we will take a look at sunsets and how to use silhouettes to enhance these images. We will follow that up with some tough realities of photographing people when the light is not great. Stay tuned!

Haleiwa, Hawaii

Camera: Samsung S7. Exposure f1.7, 1/6400th of a second, ISO 50, Canon 5DMII. Exposure f5, 1/8000th of a second, ISO 100. Canon 5DMII, Exposure f9, 1/800th of a second, ISO 100, Canon 5DMII. Exposure f5, 1/2000th of a second, ISO 100.