Light in photography isn’t simply to illuminate the subject. In fact, what’s more important is how the subject is being lit and the quality of light that’s hitting the subject. While this is true for any kind of photography, it holds even greater importance for landscape photography.
As a landscape photographer, you have zero control over how the scene is going to be lit. However, with proper planning, and a little bit of luck on your side, you can anticipate and capture some surreal landscape photographs. Take for instance the following image by photographer Frankie Spontelli from a fire lookout near Mt. Evans Road, Colorado. The dramatic lighting takes the image to the next level:
Spontelli shot the image on a Sony A7RIII with the Sony 70-200mm f/4 lens at 150mm, f/5.6, with a 1/160-second exposure, and ISO 500. The fact that he shot a landscape image using a telephoto lens has given a unique look to the image. The compression causes the hills to stack up upon each other and flattens the perspective. However, when it comes to lighting, it’s anything but flat. One of the biggest challenges in telephoto landscape photography is getting good dynamic lighting, but it seemed to be no problem at all with this image.
What’s quite interesting about the composition is how the conifers in the foreground add perspective to the fantastic golden shower that mother nature is unleashing on the wilderness in the background. The golden highlights work as a subtle leading line and draw the eyes right into the image.
Have you been lucky enough to witness such a magical sunrise like this one?
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