Need Some Winter Sun. Explore The Use Of Natural Light In Photography

By Lee Kane / January 18th 2014

Sun sun sun, maybe if i repeat it enough times suddenly it will appear or even better, i will close my eyes and open them to find myself in some beautiful sunny place with a tall glass of fresh juice, with ice, and wearing nothing but my shorts. So as the recent weather has been somewhat horrid, i thought i would dig out some sunny photo's for us all to enjoy.

image a street in Altafulla, Catalonia
Altafulla, Tarragona, Catalonia

(Click on the images to enlarge)

image of an old ruin attached to new building
image of a colorful street in Altafulla

While holidaying in Spain, one Sunday morning, i got up nice and early and took my camera into a small town called Altafulla which is along the coast of Tarragona between Torredembarra and La Mora in Catalonia. It was a wonderful bright morning and the sun not being too high in the sky was casting its light over the streets buildings and the old remains of a medieval castle.

OK these are just holiday snaps, but come on i have at least put some effort into the composition and given some of them a good rinsing through lightroom and photoshop.

image of an old well
A circus poster pasted onto a door.

I love sunlight (who doesn't) especially in photography where there is nothing better than taking photos in the natural light of the sun, which is a sentiment shared by most photographers. Catching anything naturally lit by the rays of the sun is better than the unnatural light cast by flash or static light, although that too can create beautiful photo's in the right setting.

image of a monk in the town of Altafulla
image of a memorial to Antoni De Marti I Franques
The morning sunlight brings a new day to this sleepy little village.

The morning is a great time to shoot photos in natural sunlight and casts the subject of the photograph in a nice crisp clear light. Where as evening light casts a beautiful golden color on everything. I like evening sun for portraits and morning sun for architecture. Midday sun is just too harsh and direct.

image of a monument to The castellers of Altafull
Castellers

Wandering around with my camera i came across this sculpture of a group of castellers which was a bit of a surprise. The Castell is a tradition started in the town of Valls and has its origins in a folklore dance. Yes well i suppose one thing leads to another

'Yes you, i shall dance on your shoulders'

'And i senior shall dance upon yours, but wait...'

It then evolved into a competition to which i would expect by this fine sculpture the village won at some point, and with the winnings they decided on a new lingerie shop.

image of A strange window display

This Seat 1500 and was parked outside a garage in the village of La Riera de Gaia. Lit by the setting sun this picture makes me want to get the bucket and sponge as it needed a good wash. Actually i should endeavour to take more photo's like this, as the old car styles are great. Wouldnt want to drive one though.

image of An old Seat 1500
A Seat 1500
image of The rear of a Seat 1500 outside a garage in Spain
image of La Riera de Gaia
The town of La Riera de Gaia, Tarragona, Catalonia

Feeling a bit warmer and happier yet? How about a cactus then, i have named this cactus toe, its real name is Opuntia ficus-indica or The Prickly Pear introduced into Spain from the Americas by Columbus, it really is a curious looking plant. The locals eat the fruit as a dessert. Quite nice with vanilla ice cream and cheese, so i've been told.

image of Opuntia ficus-indica or The Prickly Pear
Opuntia ficus-indica

The photographs of the lake were taken in France on the way back from Spain, again early in the morning. Sure was a tranquil start to the day. Sadley i didn't make note of where this lake was. All i can remember is that it was more southern central France, somewhere in the provinces of Auvergne or Limousin.

image of a lake in southern central france
Sunrise creates a mist over a lake in France
image of a Reflection of the landscape in the still of a lake.
Reflection of the landscape in the still of a lake.
Photo of me taking a photo
Photo of me taking a photo.

So, did this take your mind off of the miserable english weather we have been having this January?

No, don't worry, summer is on it's way!

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