Contact Us

Have questions?  Use this form to contact us.

We will respond to you as soon as possible.

Thank You,

Gary Detonnancourt

Harrisville, RI 02830
United States

More Than A Snapshot provides online photography education.

5 Reasons Why Light Matters


This is the blog for More Than A Snapshot's Online Photography Classes.  In these blog posts I will give photography tips, tutorials, and show images.

5 Reasons Why Light Matters

Gary Detonnancourt

1.  The Middle of the Afternoon:  Many photographers do everything correctly when making an image but shoot in the harsh mid-day light.  As you can see the image on the left is technically fine except the lighting conditions are not helping to bring out it's best.

Harsh middle of the day light.  The sun is above the subjects.

Late afternoon light is better because it's more directional.  The sun is coming in from the right side of the image.

2.  Soft Light:  Soft light is often easy to shoot in because it's easy to get good exposures, not having to deal with big differences between highlights and shadows.  However, sometimes soft light can make bird images appear soft or they may light the vibrancy of a highlight.

Soft Flat Lighting

This image has some side and rear lighting adding some punch to the image.

3.  Back Lighting can add an interesting rim light to your subject.  However, it can often make the front of the subject too dark.  You can improve these images by using reflectors or lights to fill in the front of your subject.  In the image below (left) I didn't use a fill light, but I was able to recover some exposure on her face through post processing.

The girls face was made brighter with Lightroom.

The front of this model was brightened with fill flash.

The exposure was balanced in this image by taking one exposure for the owl and one for the sky, then blending them in Photoshop.

4.  Warm Vs. Cool Light:  There is nothing wrong with either type of light.  They each tell a different story.

5.  Front Vs. Side Lighting:  Both of these can make great images, just be aware that front lighting can be boring due to a lack of transition from highlights to shadows.

Front Lighting

Side Lighting