Almost Weekly Photo

Middlehurst Thanks To Epson & Canson!

Tone's River, Middlehurst Station, New ZealandPhase One A-Series 100MP Trichromatic…

The Portrait Conference

The Portrait Conference - Online Competition You are invited to…

Polar Bears Up Close!

If you had to choose a position from which to…

Trying Something New?

Bhutan mountain landscape.Phase One XF, 100MP Trichromatic back, 240mm Schneider-Kreuznach…

Bhutan Forest
Canon EOS 5DSR, 300mm lens, 1/1000 second @ f2.8, ISO 100

A suggestion: photographers wanting to improve their landscape photography should learn how to light for portraiture. A lot of my experience and perhaps expertise is based on lessons learned from portrait photographers.

If you’re outside in the middle of the day and the sun is more or less directly overhead, how do you light a good portrait? Assuming you have no reflector or fill-light, one of the most elegant solutions is to position your subjects so their back is to the sun and their whole face is in shadow. Expose for the face and you have relatively soft, even light. There is likely to be a ‘rim’ of light around the subject which can also work well. The only downside is that your background is probably overexposed – but at least your portrait is well lit.

Now put on your landscape photographer’s hat. Don’t worry so much about the soft light on the face, but pay attention to the rim lighting. Now go out into the landscape and see what you can find by pointing your camera towards the light.

As mentioned, I’m currently in Bhutan with David Oliver on a photo tour and these photos were taken on a previous visit. They are in the ‘middle of the day’, using a telephoto lens and I am looking ‘into the light’. I love the rim effect which is produced by the top-back lighting. Add a little contrast when you process the files and you have another example of making the light work in the middle of the day.

More versions of rim lighting trees in the middle of the day.

This isn't rim lit so much, but by darkening down the exposure, I think it works quite well!

And if you're interested in a photography workshop in the next 12 months or so, I have places left on trips going to the New Zealand ‘Middlehurst’, Antarctica, Canada, USA, Iran and Bolivia. Full details on the Better Photography website!


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