A Separation of Degrees

There's the six degrees of Kevin Bacon, or whatever it was that loads of people were talking about a couple of years ago.  Then there's the six degrees of photography.

Lighting is one of the most critical aspects of a photograph.  You can take a picture of a scene and everyone in the world will say, "This is garbage!"  But, come back at a time when the lighting is just right, capture the same scene, and those same people just might be clamoring to buy a massive print of your image to hang in the family room, over the gerbil cage.

When it comes to outdoor photography, changing the orientation of your camera by just a few degrees can make a big difference in the result - all because of the lighting.  The contrast between the two images in this post is, I think, good evidence of this.

The first image is of a Tulip Poplar leaf.  I am holding it at arms length, the sun behind it, located off-frame, up and to the left.  I liked the photograph for all the detail you can see in the leaf veins (but I digress!).

This second image required only a tilt of the camera a few degrees upward (you see the treeline is lower in this shot).  However, the sun now casts a reflection in the lens assembly, resulting not only in a bunch of bluish orbs, but also a loss of color saturation in the overall image.  It becomes quite a different photograph, simply by changing the position of the camera relative to the available light.

I am curious - which image do you like better? Why?


And so, in your own photographic endeavors - think about the lighting!  A quick change of camera position just might yield incredible images.