How to Use Lighting in Photographs


Jadien Kruger




Lighting is one of the most important factors when capturing an image. The brightness or darkness, it sets the atmosphere. In landscape or nature photography, the quality of image is very much dependent on the available light Mother Nature presents. What is available light? "Available light can be any source of light that isn't explicitly supplied by the photographer for the purpose of taking photos".



During golden hour, which occurs early in the morning or late afternoon, almost all directions are good to photograph whether you want the sun behind you or behind your subject.



See some of our 2021 Photo competition entrants who made full use of available light.




Andrew Liu; a lioness descending from her resting place to begin her morning patrol



Ardwin Libman; as the sun was getting low in the sky the elephants changed the course that they were traveling and crossed a portion of the Zambezi River



Marcus Boehm; after a long hike into the rain forest we met with Kabukojo, the dominant Silverback of a family of 19 Gorillas



Brian Love; Dagga Boy and Ox Pecker



Claudio Machetto; as the sun rose to one side of the dune, the wind did too, whipping clouds of orange sand over the razor sharp edge of the dune and up into the morning light. A lone thorn tree stood unfased in the full light, unblocked by the dune that towered over the few visitors braving the howling wind.



Alexandra Olivieri; male lion being kissed by the first light adding depth to our mystical conceptions of what it means to be a lion The Marsh Pride in the Savute part of the Chobe National park is very well known for hunting elephant. During the first hours of the morning, just before the sun rose, we came across a pride that was a feeding on an elephant that had seemingly died sometime during the night - our suspicion was that in this instance the pride had gotten lucky instead of being successful in the hunt. Predators are often regarded as cruel being - normally when the feed on species that appeals to us humans - and the first light of the day was appropriately hitting the male`s eyes portraying this fine balance between light and darkness, life and death. It felt like an appropriate portrait of a species always dancing between the shadows.



Rian van Schalkwyk; the Quiver trees in Southern Namibia are an iconic part of the vast landscape. If you get a beautiful sunset backdrop it makes for highly enjoyable photography.



Isaac Kalio; things I see and ask myself how many people are lucky in this world to see this! Busanga plains Zambia is a real life changing spot!! An early morning sun burning mist!!


Enter our Africa in focus photo competition now

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