Bonjour to everyone! Happy new year! Today I want to write about the power of lightening. Lightening for me is very important, it can make or even break your image. For example a high sun in the summer which gives extremely hard shadows, or the morning sun in autumn. I'm writing my blog about this subject because some photo's with special lightening which I made in the Provence blew me away! If you are curious, take a look!
I have always learned from my father, Gustav Kiburg, do not shoot in the highest sun hours, shoot in the morning or in the
afternoon/evening. But.. I've not always followed this rule, sometimes you cannot, or sometimes you are on vacation and you see something. But I try to shoot shoots always out of these high sun hours.
In the morning and in the evening you have the 'Golden Hour' which is absolutely beautiful, when the light intensity of the sun is more intense the light can also get more golden. The Provence is ofcourse known for among others, beautiful light, but...
Last October at Haras du Coussoul, I was going to shoot some mares in the pasture, Sun was coming up around 8 o'clock, It started with a wake-up like this(see the photo on the right)..I had found my place in the pasture 5 minutes after. I took this time because I knew that in the middle of the day the sun can get really harsh there. I had a BEAUTIFUL golden light, coming through the trees, shining through dust and dew particles.
It gave me the images that you can see above, the light really gives the photo a feeling, a glam.. Now you may like or may dislike these particles that are lit up, but I LOVE them, why? Well they are part of this image.. They are nature, they belong in it.
Now.. sun can also make your image harsh.. I do not show photo's like this very often because they are failures for me and I try to avoid these at much as possible, but sometimes you can't.
In the photo's below you can see one horse with a very harsh shadow, in this photo it does not flatter the horse neither the image. On the other horse you see shadow, but it is less harsh, the photo is technically better but also nicer to look at.
So my advice to all of you is, try to shoot in the hours in which the sun is still soft! This helps so much to your photo, lightening is the basis, the rest comes after. You can ofcourse always turn the shadows a bit back in Lightroom or photoshop, but most of the times it is easer and nicer if it comes out of the camera with hard shadows.
If you find it hard to know which hours are golden, soft or hard, download the app 'Golden Hour' it shows you a whole list of times per location about what kind of lightening you have, it can even give you notifications!
If you cannot avoid the hours of harsh shadows, try to put your subject in the shadow and/or work with a reflection screen. When you put your subject in the shadow it may also help to put your camera lightening on SPOT.
” Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman