Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Looking for and using directional Natural light is just as important in Travel Photography as it is in portrait or nature photography.  I want as much--maybe more--drama in my travel images than in my portraits. This was especially so when we went to Italy and I finally got to photograph the famous city of Pompeii--A city literally buried in drama!

So, what am I looking for?  Shadows of course! To find the shadows you often just have to shift your camera position 180º from flat light to get short light like this…
f9.5 @ 1/60 sec., ISO 400
With my camera position on her shadow side I get the nice three dimensional (short lighting) light that creates depth and brings out texture.  In the next image I stood on the opposite side, where most of the other tourists took their pictures--probably because this side was the entrance to this area…
f9.5 @ 1/60 sec. ISO 400
This view has flat lighting making the statue blend more into the wall and it's OK as a "record shot" but not very dramatic.

This next image is one of my favorites from Pompeii and is one NONE of the tourists even saw from this very dramatic angle. I was walking down a street with the other tourists and I stopped to peak over a wall, just because I could; being 6'2" and saw this gorgeous granary in perfect side light!

f4.0 @ 1/60 ISO 400

This is basically window light--the door like opening on the right is narrowing the light--while the wall on the left, acting as a GOBO, is blocking light creating nice shadows on the mill stone.

It's usually easier to find this kind of lighting with interiors near an opening like a door or window or an exterior hall way, but when you venture outside it's more difficult.

When outside I look for anything that is making a shadow. Of course, if the sun is straight up you're out of luck and would have to come back later in the day.

f19.0 @ 1/180 sec., ISO 400
In this image the sun was low enough to create good textures on the left and the walls were high enough on the right to make nice shadows.

That's what it's all about in my world…Shadows and Drama!

'Til next week…should you have questions or comments please don't hesitate to ask.

Author:  Jerry W Venz, Certified Master Craftsman
Training site:  http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com

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