Project Alicia : Leap Into Spring! Challenge: Sunshine/Light

Friday, April 06, 2012

Leap Into Spring! Challenge: Sunshine/Light

It seems the pinnacle of good outdoor photography is finding the right light!

Midday, bright sunlight can lend itself to harsh tones, unwanted shadows, and a heap of disappointing photos. But don't despair. Mother nature has ever so graciously given us a couple of perfect hours...

THE GOLDEN HOURS

The first hour or so after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset. This is when the sun is low in the sky, producing soft, golden, diffused hues. There is little contrast and the shadows are soft and dreamy.

It is also known as the magic hours. And for good reason! The lighting is simply out of this world magical!

Whether you are shooting portraits, landscape, or macro- there is no going wrong during this time. Simple subjects take on a special glow. Heck, even spiders look lovely in the golden hours. It's a fabulous time to get out the camera and create something beautiful!
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Five Tips for Shooting in The Golden Hours

Determine Timing. Check your local weather report or try the Golden Hour Calculator to identify the exact sunrise/sunset time in your area. Doing a little homework ahead of time will pay off tenfold.

Use a Tripod. For optimal results in lower light settings use a tripod to avoid camera shake. Set the ISO low and use a long exposure. You may even want to use a self timer or remote clicker to ensure crisp photos. Remember to get a good depth of field for landscapes you will need to use a smaller aperture of f/8 or above.

Change White Balance. Move the setting to something other than automatic. Try a couple different ones. The results may surprise you. Practice this at different times of the day prior to your scheduled shoot in The Golden Hours.

Keep Shooting. Over the course of an hour the light will drastically change, and quickly. There are only a few moments of the "magic light" and you don't want to miss it. Make sure to bring a flashlight and stay the duration. This would be a great time to try HDR (High Dynamic Range) Imaging, taking multiple shots at different exposures and combining them digitally to capture a greater range between the lightest and darkest areas in an image.

Get Creative. Don't be afraid to try different angles or perspectives. Light, reflections, and hues vary simply by altering your position. If you shoot directly into the sun it will produce sun flare and possibly a more blown out shot, which is perfectly acceptable and individual. For portrait shots you may want to block the sun by shifting your frame. You will still get the effects of the backlighting without the distracting glare of the sun. The beauty is it's all subjective!

And the best advice I could give? You don't even have to have a fancy DSLR or expensive equipment to capture beautiful photos during The Golden Hours. This is mother nature's gift to us. So, grab whatever camera you have and snap some photos!

Thank you for stopping by! Can't wait to see what you capture this week!

spring photography challenge, kristi live and love out loud photo challenge, project alicia photo challenge, bumbles and light photo challenge,

I’m teaming up with Rebecca of Bumbles and Light and Kristi of Live and Love Out Loud to bring you the Leap Into Spring! Photo Challenge – a 6-week photography challenge aimed at capturing the beauty of spring.

Just a few details:
Not experiencing spring in your part of the world? No problem. All are invited regardless of geographic location.

Two prompts to choose from each week! Share your favorite images inspired by one of our weekly prompts. Or both. It’s totally up to you.

The linky will remain open from 9am Friday – 9am Thursday CST. Leap Into Spring! blog post or Flickr photo, not your blog’s home page or Flickr photostream. Feel free to share your photos in our Leap Into Spring! Flickr Group as well.

We’ll be showcasing some of your lovely photos by pinning our favorite submissions to our Leap Into Spring! Pinterest Board each week.

We love Instagram just as much as you do! We’ll be on the lookout for your lovely spring photos, so be sure to use the #leapintospring hashtag.

Last, but not least, don’t forget to grab our lovely button!

spring photography challenge, kristi live and love out loud photo challenge, project alicia photo challenge, bumbles and light photo challenge,

Next week’s prompt will be Easter/Eggs. For a complete list of upcoming prompts, head on over to the Leap Into Spring! Photo Challenge page.

37 comments:

  1. Love these. That dandelion shot is great. I still can't get Dustyn to do that for me. That spider web photo is great too.

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  2. Your photos are certainly magical! Gorgeous! Love the dandelion photo! And the spider is awesome! But then again, I love me some bug photos. :)

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  3. Just lovely Alicia...thanks for the tips. Hope you have a wonderful Easter Weekend.

    Tiffany

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  4. Fabulous tips. Exquisite photos. I expected nothing less, my friend. Love these!

    I'm so glad to be hosting yet another photo challenge with my sweet friend. :)

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  5. Excellent info & I will be using that link because it seems here that even at that golden hour the sun still has it's way with my photos & is a bit difficult to control. Love your images- especially the one of your daughter.

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  6. Such deliciously gorgeous light Alicia!! Each photo is completely breathtaking with that golden light flooding each shot. I'm so excited now to get out there and shoot during those magical hours! Thank you for the tips on how to capture the beauty of the golden hours. :)

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  7. Lovely dandelion clock one Alicia with the light capturing each of those little seedheads.

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  8. Thanks for the great tips! I should definitely try to plan ahead some time I bet there would be a huge difference.

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  9. Gorgeous photos as always Alicia! I especially love that boat shot. Wow!!
    I am guilty of not using a tripod. I'll have to try that more often. Thanks for the tips!

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  10. Oh, wow...sooo pretty, all of them! I really love the dream-like quality of the dandelion blowing photo...so perfect! And, the fruit blossoms are lovely...makes me wish we were closer to flowering tree season up here (not for another month, at least! :P)

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  11. Great advice and you are soo right about that perfect time only lasts a few moments, I have been through my trials with that one.. With the beach being 30-40 minutes away.. I can't tell you how many times I made it there too late.. A lesson learned the hard way for sure! lol

    -Samantha
    KreativeKaring.com

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  12. Wonderful pics Alicia. And thank you for the tips :) They will be useful. Can't wait to get shooting!!!

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  13. I love your golden hour shots. Thanks for hosting the blog hop. I'm looking forward to each one! Happy Spring! Happy Easter!

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  14. oh goodness, those sail boat shots are absolutely breathtaking!!!
    xo TJ

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  15. This is my first time linking up with Leap Into Spring! I'm so excited and now look forward to next week! I love all of your photos, but I think my favorite would have to be the first one with the boat. They are all just beautiful!
    Thanks for all the shooting tips! I will certainly put them to use on my beach vacation next week!

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  16. Great photos. Thanks for the tips!

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  17. These are all excellent photos demonstrating the beauty of light. My favorite is the one of the boat...just lovely. Thanks for hosting. (Michelle)

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  18. You captured some gorgeous light, and the tips you shared are excellent!

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  19. these are so lovely!!! i love that spider shot - very cool!!!

    we've got more and more snow here in finland so my post is not very springlike... ;)

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  20. I love the spider and dandelion photos in particular! What a fabulous collection, and wonderful tips!

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  21. These are great shots. I do love that little spider! I do love that golden light. I just wish I could get rid of the gale force winds. :-)

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  22. Thank you for hosting this challenge. I have been having fun with photography for years and am excited to start learning a little bit about how to improve my photos.

    I thoroughly enjoyed looking at your photographs. I never thought I would find a chain link fence beautiful, but you made it so :) I love each image, and I especially love the one with the young girl (your daughter?). It really captures so much.

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  23. And how could I forget to thank you for your tips!

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  24. Thank you for the chance to get out and stretch my skills! Your photos, as ALWAYS, are beautiful. Looking forward to trying to get to each and every entry out there this week to view and comment!

    Mindy~

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  25. Alicia these are STUNNING! Absolutely gorgeous. The tips are awesome, thank you!

    I'm so happy to be hosting again with you!

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  26. Beautiful pictures of gorgeous light. It has been snowing here in Finland so I really can't talk about spring so much:)

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  27. Thank you for the wonderful tips! I love the spider shot and your daughter blowing, so magical.:)

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  28. Great tips, beautiful images. You are golden!

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  29. I'm so excited that you 3 are doing another seasonal contest! And I just love your photos! The lighting in them is simply breathtaking!

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  30. Absolutely gorgeous photos! Amazing use of sunlight. So glad to be joining you again for another seasonal challenge.

    Thanks for the tips. Twilight is my absolute favorite hour of the day to shoot. My best work comes out of that time.

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  31. Love the golden hours...and how you manage to make them come alive. Hope you don't mind but I've posted 2 entries this week, as my foray into the Forest of Light just couldn't be left out :-)

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  32. Gorgeous shots Alicia! Beautiful lighting. Great tips on the Golden Hours. I gave it a try... not sure how well I succeeded but I was relatively happy with my limited knowledge. I gave it another try this afternoon but still have to upload my images from the camera.
    Thanks for hosting :)

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  33. I love these...especially the one with the dandelion!

    Thanks for hosting another fun link up party. I just finished jotting all the dates down. :)

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  34. beautiful set of pictures you have here...dreamy and relaxing. Thanks for sharing tips.

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  35. Love all of your photos as usual. You have such a unique composition which always makes me smile. And the photography tips are spot on!

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  36. gorgeous photography - I love your style! Found you via your tips on Pinterest for capturing the Golden Hour. I'm planning a golden hour photo shoot for a new campaign featuring a big bubbles (made by www.extremebubbles.com) and I will definitely be using your advice! Thank you!

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