Why Do I Never Get Perfect Light?

The other day, a friend of mine was showing the photos from his daughter’s wedding. Initially, I was only in the same room and enjoying some conversation with someone else, but then I started to realize how incredible the photos really were. I asked who had taken them, because the wedding was out here in Asia and (believe me) a little out of the way to find a nice wedding photographer. Unknowingly, I had asked the photographer, herself.

Assuming, from the quality of the photos, she was an experienced photographer, I actually asked how she used her flash to balance the light so beautifully. After a brief exchange, which I still have a hard time processing, I found out she had used a regular, old point-and-shoot camera! How could it be?

Even after knowing it was a compact camera, I could barely believe the photos I was seeing. The sky was so perfectly blue and not overly bright. The faces all looked like there were either reflectors coming up from below or some creative flash lighting. Not so. It must have been the perfect day for lighting!

I do not say that to diminish her skills in any way, but simply to say that having not thought about the lighting at all, those were perfectly lit photos. She was obviously playing with the angle and perspective, though. That much goes 100% to her credit.

Some folks get all the perfect light. I guess it all goes to reemphasize for me that light is what photography is all about. Know how to “read” it, manage it it, and how your equipment reacts to it.

Cooper Strange Written by: