How to Photograph When the Light Sucks

Can the light really suck? Is there such a thing as bad light? What makes light suck: midday sun or dark overcast skies?

It was said by someone that ‘there is no such thing as bad light, only light used improperly’.

For outdoor photographers, light is often not what we want in the moment. It can be over cast when we want sun or a cloudless sky when we want softer light.

There is no perfect light that works for every situation and for every subject, but no matter the light conditions, none of this light should be considered bad.  Instead, poor light should be looked at as an opportunity to find subjects that work in the light of the moment.

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Photographing With A Purpose

It’s common for photographers to wonder what they should be photographing or to ask the same of their stock agents. We all want to make money as our businesses rely on a steady stream of cash flow, but what should we photograph?

There is often no easy answer since we capture images for a client we don’t know yet if we are in the stock business. Many nature and wildlife photographers, unless on assignment, photograph what appeals to them with no client or market in mind. It can be like throwing mud and hoping it sticks.

In some ways you can look at images for license as two types: one with broad market appeal and the other with a niche market appeal.  I have done many assignments and my stock agent used to encourage me to negotiate stock usage for all my assignment images.

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