Light it up: Studying light for outdoor shots

Alan Bohms photography is the greatest hobby in the world.  People spend a lot of their time taking photos and many of these individuals go on to taking on the craft as a permanent hobby.  Many young people who discover their love for photography are more than willing to invest time, money, and effort into the endeavor, and Alan Bohms mentions it is one of the best decisions they’ll ever make.

Over the past few months, Alan Bohms has been writing and releasing a number of blogs in which he shares the knowledge he has amassed throughout his years as a student of the wonderful art of photography.

For this particular blog, Alan Bohms introduces young shutterbugs to what he considers to be one of the most essential aspects of photography – lighting, or natural lighting to be more specific.

Start with the sun

A lot of the best techniques such as lens flare can be done through the proper use of sunlight.  Alan Bohms tells young photographers to angle their shots, in which the camera is pointed toward the general direction of the sun, but without the major source of light getting in the way of the subject. 

Alan Bohm also instructs young photographers to practice with distance.  There are certain distances that give of the ideal lighting conditions.  As other veteran photographers have noted in the past — when shooting a portrait under these lighting conditions, the photograph can appear softer because the shadows are more subtle on the face, and the flare that floods the picture makes the composition more magical.

Try shooting during sunrises and sunsets

The common misconception is that because midday is when the sun shines the brightest, that is the ideal time for a photo shoot.  Alan Bohms disagrees.  He believes it either to be sunrise or sunset. 

During these times, the light angle is a lot easier to manage and makes for more creative and dramatic images.  It’s also important to note that different times of the day tell different stories and give off different appearances.

Use smooth surfaces or water

Light that is reflected from shiny rocks or water is still considered natural light.  However, Alan Bohms explains that reflected light, especially from water, can give a whole new dimension to the image. 

The best way to master reflected light is to practice at home, using different angles, while still harnessing the light of the sun.

Nature photographer and Nashville native Alan Bohms’ blog

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