Photo Tip: Contrasting light – the no-go zone

Aug 11 2015

Sharpen your nature photography skills with Heinrich van den Berg

The light during the middle of a sunny day in Africa is often too contrasting for photography. If you try to photograph under these circumstances, the light will appear harsh and the shadows will appear as black holes in the image. Follow the example of the animals and take a siesta during the middle of the day.

Beginner tip:

A photograph taken in the middle of the day is almost always doomed not to be as you expected it to be. There is no camera or lens on earth that can fix bad light.

Lighting tip:

The only time when you can photograph in harsh light and still get a decent result is if there is enough action in the image. In this image the light was terrible, but the action terrific. The interest of the action outweighed the bad light.

How you can take a similar image

Lens: Super telephoto lens.

Settings: Maximum aperture. Low ISO.

How: The only reasons why this image works is because of the action and the fact the light falls on the badger’s back foot. When you have to photograph in this light, wait for action or use a fill-flash to fill the black shadows cast by the harsh light.


Heinrich van den Berg

I don't want to call myself a professional wildlife photographer, because the term has expired. I don't want to call myself a publisher, because I am a professional wildlife photographer. I don't want to be only a photo trainer, or an app developer or a writer. I want to call myself an artist, but what qualifies one to become one? I don't believe I am an artist yet, but one day perhaps I would be able to create something that I am proud enough of. In the meantime I just want to enjoy what I do.

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