Light in scapes ( Monochrome)

Light is the most important aspect of any Image; Light can come from the sunyour camera’s flash, a lamp, or ceiling lights. The direction, brightness, and colour of the light can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of your photos. I will show some monochrome images and share few things… keep reading.

Highlights and Shadows

In any photo, the light will fall on the subject in a certain way, creating highlights (bright areas) and shadows (dark areas). The highlights and shadows create contrast, which can help to make the photo more interesting but can also create problems in some situations. It is absolutely important to control these two aspects in-order to create a good image. Here i will talk about lighting in outdoor images specially in scapes.

If you’re taking photos outdoors during the daytime, your main source of light will usually be the sun. Depending on the time of day and the weather, the sun can give your photos a  spectrum of looks. If you are aware of how the light can affect your photos, you’ll be able to make adjustments to get the best results. I will share few things that i usually do when I shoot scapes

  • Shoot in Manual Mode and never use auto*** : Auto mode in camera’s are a good things but most of the camera’s tend to read the entire frame to give a balance lighting throughout the frame ! Sometimes this can lead to a flat image .. so the best thing to do is go manual so that you can control the exposure
  • Expose for highlights : Switch to spot metering so that i can expose for highlights , so that the highlights are not blown away.. This may lead to darker shadows, however darker shadows can be pulled up in post processing but blown highlights cannot be adjusted
  • Use Bracketing : Bracketing is a wonderful tool which can expose the same image in multiple stops , I do it manually with aperture, I usually expose for -1 , 0 and + 1 stops . This gives me two things a set of images i can choose from and ability to merge them if required to give me a better dynamic range.
  • Process with a good calibrated monitor which can show you all shades of grey.

Some Images shot using the above technique

Morning Mist Valparai

As a photographer , I chase light .. not just any light .. it is light among shadows . Shadows and highlights are important in any image … both together creates drama.. IMHO a good image especially black and white should have all tones of grey .. from rich black to pure white …

Canopy , Munnar

The beauty in any landscape is not just looking at it in a wide angle lens.. some times there are many dramatic canvases that is painted by light .. i use tele focal length a lot in landscapes to capture the minute drama of light .. here i used a 210 mm focal length to capture play of light among the canopy of sholas in Munnar.

Misty Mountains

Shooting against the sun , is always a challenge .. and it takes lot of adjustments to get the right picture. As I mentioned earlier I usually shoot in manual mode .. Auto does not do a good job . Closing the Aperture gives starburts

Heavenly Rays : Munnar

Thanks for reading this small post , let me know if you have any questions / critique.

Thanks ,

Goutham Ramesh