The picture above was taken along the stairs leading to the Great Wall of China. I was so lucky that it was a sunny day, which allowed me to capture my beloved clear blue sky. But most of you should be familiar with the situation in which the harsh sunlight casts undesirable deep shadows and bright highlights on your subject’s face.
As you may be aware, when taking landscape photos, harsh sunlight may create too great a contrast in the scene such that details will be lost either in the darker or brighter areas of the photo. You rarely find such perfect moments as in Photo 1, when the sunlight is not so harsh — maybe because the sun is partly blocked by clouds — that it casts a “good-looking” shadow on the subject.
In Photo 1, the morning sunlight provides a warm tone for my picture, and at the same time, it created some feature-defining shadows on this man’s face. You may also notice that the picture showed a good blend of warm- and cool-colored elements. The cool tone of the sky, the cool tone that came from the green outfit and the grassland, the warm tone coming from the colors brown, yellow, orange, and red…all of these made the photo colorful and eye catching.
Photo 2 shows you how harsh sunlight can actually be a credit to a photo. The stall keeper here stood under the sun enjoying her breakfast. Though the sunlight created a deep “cap” shadow on her face, it made the photo more interesting. In fact, this photo not only captured the subject’s awkward expression, but also the beautiful mountain scene far behind, as well as all the colorful elements present in the scene. On top of all this, I was most impressed by the green cap and green outfit that looked so well maintained in the photo. It reminded me of the core function of a photo: to capture the authentic ambiance and make the viewer feel as if he or she is present in the scene. As for Photos 3 and 4, you can see how different framing reveals the stall and part of the Great Wall.
|Photo 1||Photo 2||Photo 3||Photo 4|
|Camera||Canon EOS 5D||1||1||1||1|
|Lens||EF 17-40mm f4L||1||1||1||1|