Practice 25

Here Comes the Sun

Our best source of light and warmth
Capture the golden hours
Today’s practice is about the sun and the gift of its light. Do it at the time of day photographers call the golden hours, either in the morning shortly after the sun rises or at the end of the day when the sun is about to set. During these times, the light is low on the horizon and has a most flattering and dramatic effect. The light will caress your subjects and reveal information you will not get in your photographs when it is high. We call these times the golden hours for another reason: the warm shades of gold are quite beautiful. Since the light is coming from the side, it wraps around whatever you are shooting creating both a shadow and a bright side. The shadows sculpt your subject, giving depth and interest to your images.
While it is best to work outdoors, this practice can be done indoors. Wherever I am in the world, I try to have my morning coffee in a chair facing an east window, catching the sunrise if I can. I am not a sun worshiper, but I am always awed by that golden light. I can’t resist picking up my phone and making pictures of the things around me lit by the morning sun. My files are filled with thousands of images of flowers, their petals transparent, sculpture, shadows, a sleeping child warmed by the golden glow. Go to a place where you see the sun’s light pouring into the world. Look for things in that magic light. They will be everywhere.