Photo Lesson Overview on

CGIPix is an observation that Nikon, Canon and the rest no longer make cameras,
they make computers that you can attach a lens to.
Here is a basic overview of what it takes to create good, better or best pictures, you decide how much effort you want to put into your pictures.

The basics of using natural lighting:

Natural Lighting

Lighting is made up of three components,color, direction and intensity. The color is the warm red or cool blue cast of the lighting. The direction is front, back, side or diffused lighting, or a combination of them using reflectors or flash. The intensity is dependent on sun, clouds and time of day. It does no good to have a perfect glow of evening lighting, and take a picture of someone using back lighting. Their face is dark, and there is a bright sky behind them. If you use a flash, along with the back lighting of the sky, then you have an interesting photo. Reflectors are a good way to use natural lighting, and create a combination of lighting directions. The sun is the main frontal lighting, and the reflector provides a soft fill lighting from the side.

Using Natural Light Effectively
The first step is to analyze the light that you have.
What is the intensity/brightness of the light?
What is the color of the light?
What is the direction of the light?

If it's a sunrise or sunset, the intensity is low, the color is very warm (red or orange), and the direction can be low front or back lighting.

This determines the style of picture that you can best take for the available lighting.
If you are taking pictures of people, then use the warm glow of the sun to in direct frontal lighting to take dramatic shots.
For landscapes, you can either use front, side or back lighting, depending on the effects desired. The setting or rising sun is the classic back lit photograph. Your main light source is directly in front of you, causing everything to be silhouetted. Not very flattering for portraits, but incredible for landscapes. You can use the setting or rising sun as a direct front lighting, capturing a deeper red color in the landscapes.

Here's the classic sunset picture, orange color to the sky, silhouetting the entire foreground.

In this shot, the setting sun was directly behind, giving the already red colored rocks an extra glow from the warm light of the sun.
If it's noontime on a cloudless day, the intensity is very high, the color is cool (blue), and the direction is directly overhead.

Very few great photographs are taken at noon. You can take a good picture, where everything is composed well, exposed properly, and it just won't have the same impact as if that picture was taken at sunrise or sunset. The best things to shoot during harsh lighting are things such as flowers or animals. Flowers can be shot from above, giving them a direct lighting effect, and with animals, just having wildlife in the shot is enough to add a dramatic effect to the photo. Taking pictures of people at noon is not very good, as the shadows are harsh, and the lighting is cool.

This picture was taken in the afternoon. The lighting would be bad for people or most landscapes, but having a hummingbird in a hovering position is enough to overcome less than ideal lighting situations.
If it's a cloudy day, the intensity is low, the color is very cool (blue), and the direction is diffused.

A cloudy day can create much better images at noontime than a sunny day. There are no harsh shadows, and landscapes will take on an even lighting. Portraits are also good with an overcast, especially if you use a slight amount of fill flash to make the subject stand out from the background.

Here is a shot taken on a snowy day. There are no shadows, and the entire scene has a nice soft lighting quality to it.
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