Capture Natural Light In Travel Photos

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In Day 3 of the SITS Girls’ Pin-tastic Pinterest Challenge, Courtney of Click it Up a Notch challenges us to use natural light. Which isn’t hard to do outdoors, but doesn’t come easy indoors.

Outdoors, I’m usually able to get the image – such as this one of my niece on the Royal Joust in LEGOLAND Florida – without resorting to flash.

LEGOLAND Florida Jousting

Indoors, it’s a different story. Many museums allow photography – but no flash. As a result, I’m often left scrounging for an angle that makes use of whatever light is available, and hoping that Photoshop will add in the rest. Sometimes the pattern of light makes for an interesting effect as in this photo taken inside The Cloisters branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Cloisters - Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York City

Sometimes the pattern of light just doesn’t work.

Yoohoo in the light

Window panes can add unnecessary interest to an image, and depending on the position of windows and home relative to the sun, the light streaming through can land in inconvenient spots.

In an attempt to capture catchlights, my son had to scooch down to perch on a corner edge of a bed in the one room that faced the sun.


Can you see the catchlights? They’re the pinprick reflections of light in my son’s eyes that are hardly noticeable when the subject is squinting in direct light.

Courtney explains that it’s more effective to sit the subject at a 45 degree angle from the window as facing sunlight can result on flat lighting and a washed out the face. (Not always a bad thing, mind you!)

Check out these catchlights (I think my niece was positioned more-or-less at a 45 degree angle, but I may have to resort to using a protractor for future shoots.)

45 degree catchlights

Travel Photo Challenge:

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