Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

May 25, 2012

See the Light

Filed under: Birds, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light — richditch @ 10:31 am
Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

Nikon D300, 300/2.8 AF-S lens plus TC20E (2x), tripod, ISO 800, 1/640th second at f/8, 12/30/2011 at 5:02 pm

Photography is really all about the light, and anyone’s photography will benefit from learning to see the light and use it in their shooting.

Experienced photographers prefer shooting very early or very late in the day, when the sun is low on the horizon. Contrast is lower at these times, less harsh, and helps keep shadows from blocking up and highlights from blowing. The light at these times of day is usually “warmer” as well, with more yellow and less blue in the mix, making most subjects appear more pleasing. Whenever possible get out as close to dawn as you can, and forget about a senior discount with early dinner.

The Anna’s Hummingbird above was photographed at the Gilbert Water Ranch about 25 minutes before sunset when the low sun provided nice warm light.



Nikon D300, 300/2.8 AF-S lens plus TC20E (2x), tripod, ISO 800, 1/1250th second at f/8, 12/30/2011 at 4:27 pm

Taken the same day as the Anna’s Hummingbird above, this drake Mallard was on  nice water about one hour before sunset when it reflected from pondside vegetation to give a pleasing color to the water surface.

Canada Goose reflection

Canada Goose reflection

Nikon D300, 300/2.8 AF-S lens plus TC20E III (2x), tripod, ISO 400, 1/80th second at f/8, 5/1/2012 at 7:02 am

This Canada Goose posed nicely about 80 minutes after sunrise at the Gilbert Water Ranch, catching the warm morning light for a simple composition of goose, reflection, and water.



  1. Beautiful light Rich and good explanation of the advantages of shooting early or late in the day.

    Comment by rondudley — May 26, 2012 @ 5:01 am

  2. Because of the light (and subjects) all of these images are beautiful Rich. I have to say my favorite is the Canada Goose, although they are very common I think thier beauty is often overlooked, this one is in such a great pose!

    Comment by Mia McPherson — May 26, 2012 @ 5:05 am

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