5 Creative Ways to Use Hard Light in Your Portrait Photography

I always teach my students that the light is the most important component of a good photo.  This always begs the question, “What makes good lighting?”  Generally, photographers say that good light is soft light.  That’s often true, and if you want soft light, I wrote an article on how to achieve soft light. Unfortunately, many photographers fall into the …

How to make your landscape photography look dull and un-inspiring

Gorgeous mountain scene–check.  Have my photography gear–check.  Found a good composition–check.  Dull and un-inspiring photo–unfortunately, check. We’ve all been there.  This is an unfortunate example from my portfolio of photos that *almost* turned out beautiful.  Examining this mistake will hopefully lead us to understand some of the most important characteristics of good landscape photography. Look at the photo featured on …

FUNdamentals of soft light for portrait photography

When you start talking about teaching the fundamentals of anything, people tune out.  I’m hoping I got you here with the whole FUNdamentals thing.  Seriously, this post is gonna be a lot of fun (no, not really). Soft light vs. Hard light We’ve all heard people use these terms and many of us probably know what these terms mean intuitively, …

Wildlife Photography at High Noon

Perfect shot.  Perfect lens.  Perfect set-up.  Harsh, mid-day lighting.  Ugh!  Such was the situation when I came upon these fawns (for those of you who don’t speak Bambi, that means baby deer).  It was the middle of the day and the lighting was disgusting.  When you look at this photo, you probably can’t tell the lighting was terrible.  Why?  Read …

What’s the big deal about catch-lights?

Portrait photographers and wildlife photographers are both crazy about catch-lights, but if the two groups were to fight it out, I have to say that wildlife photographers are even crazier about catch-lights than portrait photographers. Catch-lights are specular highlights in the eyes of an animal or a person.  Look around you for something shiny and round…. a metal lamp, a …