Candid Wedding Photography

A wedding is a unique and personal celebration of a couple’s love, joy and commitment to each other. It is a many-layered event that is simultaneously a sacred rite and a jubilant party; a blessed declaration of love and a gathering of friends and family. Whether your ceremony is small and intimate, or large and stately, your wedding day is the culmination of many hours of planning. Once it arrives, all your planning generates an event with a vitality and spirit all its own.

I feel honored each time I am invited to participate in a couples unforgettable day. I work hard to create a personalized collection of wedding images that reflects their distinctive personality and style. Utilizing my extensive fine-art experience, I pay close attention to all the details that comprise a wedding.

Experience has taught me that, no matter what type of celebration a bridal couple chooses, they want coverage of the day’s events as they unfold, without an overbearing presence. Through candid photographs, I capture feelings and special moments as they evolve naturally by utilizing my strong visual sense in combination with my intuition. I capture the moment rather than dictate the moment.

I like to work closely with each bride and groom to ensure comfortable, relaxed portraits. Careful planning of the portrait session details helps to minimize its length. Couples who enjoy working with me appreciate the time it takes to create quality portraits. Meaningful photographs that will forever document their special day are their priority and they are always pleased with the results of my work.

Whether it’s well-orchestrated group portraits or natural candids, my clients tell me I’m fun and easy to work with. And best of all, they love my photographs.

Thank you for taking the opportunity to learn about my photography services.  I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your wedding day.  Please give me a call.  I look forward to hearing from you.
We have prices to fit every budget, all with high quality service. We are a member of Pictage, one of the largest online ordering and digital lab in the country, which allows us to focus on our passion – creating beautiful photographs of you.

Your wedding photographs really are an investment that should last a lifetime and more. Don’t choose just anyone; ask us about the archival quality of our photographs.

Wedding packages start at $1350 for five hours. All packages include a proof magazine and either a mounted or flush mount album. We have five standard packages to choose from, but we will gladly put together a custom package to fit your needs. Custom portrait sittings start at $150.00 and include one 5×7 photograph. Call or e-mail for a free information package.

We accept most major credit cards.


Wedding Photographer Overview and Mission

Affordable Elegance…

Our Photography has been providing Long Island with the highest quality photography for almost twenty years. Owned and operated by a professional photographer , we concentrate on only one wedding per day, yours.

We bring a style and expertise to each and every wedding. Our well-deserved reputation for uncompromising excellence is well known by the couples that have carefully entrusted him to capture the most precious moments of their lives on film.

Quality & Dependability…

We have been capturing timeless images for years. A master of lighting techniques, we utilize both natural and artificial light to stunning effect.

We rely upon the dependability of traditional medium-format film, and as many as 5 cameras and 4 flash systems are always on hand as back-up, so you can relax and enjoy your day with the utmost of confidence.

Our job doesn’t end on your special day…

You deserve to delight in every single moment of your wedding day, for generations to come. Only Image Makers can deliver this kind of quality, because we custom print each and every photograph (with the exception of proofs).

Every photograph we produce is cropped, dodged, and burned by hand, giving you the rich and vibrant image quality which is our trademark. And, of course, we only use the highest quality Kodak film and paper.

“We plan our day around your needs.”
Complete coverage starting at $1395.00 includes a bridal portrait, all proofs and negatives and 2 photographers on your special day.

Our style is a mix of candid as well as traditional photography. We shoot in both Color and Black & White. The package price also includes stops to photograph in locations if desired.

We only charge for travel over 50 miles. There is no fee for consultations and we will come to you for your convenience. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
Whether it is a family portrait, or a highly stylized photo we can capture the moment. Again I would like to emphasize our willingness to come to the client where they are most comfortable. We encourage the use of personal props to make the photo more exclusive to each client. We take our time and like to give clients the opportunity for variations within a photo session.
“Photography form people who truly love pets.”
We come to you to photograph your pets in their environment so it is less stressful for them and you. We are happy to shoot indoors or out.
To make it more personal you may also be included in several shots if you’d like.

This is just a little about me. I have a degree in photography from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and I have been doing the work for over ten years. I am originally from the State College area but have been living in Lancaster since the summer of 2001. We love the area and plan to make it our home.

My philosophy on photography is simple:
“This is a service that I provide to my clients, so what my clients want is most important. By working together with the client I can make memorable photos that they can treasure for a lifetime. This is why I believe that no photography session should be rushed.” Because of my beliefs I even come to my clients for consultations free of charge. I just love what I do and try to make that feeling come through in my work.

My rates are simple. Sitting fees are $50, and the Wedding packages start at $1395 and range as high as $2700. I am happy to work with clients by trying to customize a package to their needs. Feel free to call with any questions. I will be happy to try to help.

ith so much to think about and do, you can trust Martin Studios to capture all the special
moments of your wedding day with style, beauty, and expertise – from the more
formal portraiture to those spontaneous moments that make your
wedding day special.
Each package offers:
Full day wedding coverage with no time limits

Over 180 photographs for you to choose from

A hand-crafted 20 Page wedding album by Art leather

12 – 8×10 Photographs and 75 – 4×5 photographs
for you wedding album

Complete control over the layout of your album
On-line viewing and secure ordering of your
wedding prints via the Internet.

We also offer:
Black and White or Color reprints

Retouching and digital image enhancements

Thank you gifts from parents albums to gift
folios and enlargements

Wedding Photography Package Costs Florida

Wedding Packages

A Deposit of $200 is required to hold Wedding date. Balance is to be paid two weeks before Wedding. Payment in full is expected on Parent Packages and Extras when order is turned in. Prices do not include sales taxes and subject to change. These prices are effective 10-01-03 through 10-01-04. Out-of-town and/or relocation fees will be charged where applicable.

Economy Wedding Packages

#E1   Two rolls of film, All Proofs (Approx. 48) in Proof Book…………..$400
#E2   Four rolls of film, All Proofs (Approx. 96) in Proof Book………$600

Cost of Additions:
B&W Studio Engagement OR Bridal Session……………….each $50
-includes 5×7 B&W for paper and 8×10 proof sheet
Color Studio Engagement OR Bridal Session……………….each $75
-includes 5×7 B&W for paper and all proofs (12)
Color Location Engagement OR Bridal Session……………each $100
-includes 5×7 B&W for paper and all proofs (24)

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Standard Wedding Packages

#STD1 – 10 8×10’s in Large Album & All Proofs (96) in Proof Book………$900
Also Included: 1-11×14 Color Enlargement
B&W Studio Engagement Session and 5×7 B&W for paper
Color Location or Studio Bridal and 5×7 B&W for paper

#STD2 – 20 8×10’s in Large Album & All Proofs (120) in Proof Book………$1100
Also Included: 1-11×14 Color Enlargement
B&W Studio Engagement Session and 5×7 B&W for paper
Color Location or Studio Bridal and 5×7 B&W for paper

#STD3 – 30 8×10’s in Large Album & All Proofs (144) in Proof Book………$1300
Also Included: 1-11×14 Color Enlargement
B&W Studio Engagement Session and 5×7 B&W for paper
Color Location or Studio Bridal and 5×7 B&W for paper

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Supreme Wedding Packages

#SPR1 – 30 8×10’s in Large Supreme Album………. $1600
Also Included:
All Proofs (Approx. 144) in Proof Book
1-16×20 Enlargement
Color Studio Engagement Session and 5×7 B&W for paper
Color Location or Studio Bridal Session and 5×7 B&W for paper

#SPR2 – 30 8×10’s in Large Supreme Album………. $2100
Also Included:
All Proofs (Approx. 144) in Proof Book
1-16×20 Enlargement
Color Studio Engagement Session and 5×7 B&W for paper
Color Location or Studio Bridal Session and 5×7 B&W for paper
Parent extras included:
2 Small Parent Albums with 20 5×5’s in each
2-11×14’s Enlargements

#SPR3 – 30 8×10’s in Large Supreme Album………. $2600
Also Included:
All Proofs (Approx. 144) in Proof Book
1-16 x20 Enlargement
Color Studio Engagement Session and 5×7 B&W for paper
Color Location or Studio Bridal Session and 5×7 B&W for paper
Parent extras included:
2 Large Parent Albums with 20 8×10’s in each
2-11×14 Enlargements

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Parent Packages

  1. 10 5×5’s and small parent album…..$180
  2. 20 5×5’s and small parent album…..$300
  3. 32 5×5’s and large parent album……$410
  4. 10 8×10’s and large parent album….$300
  5. 20 8×10’s and large parent album….$450

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Portrait Packages

Studio Sitting Fee-$35 (for 12 exposures) or $65 (for 24 exposures)
Location Sitting Fee-$60 (for 12 exposures) or $90 (for 24 exposures)

#1 Two 8×10, Two 5×7, Four 3 1/2×5, and 8 Wallets……….$100

#2 One 8×10, Two 5×7, Four 3 1/2×5, and 8 Wallets……….$85

#3 Two 8×10, Two 5×7, and 8 Wallets……………………………$69

#4 One 8×10, Two 5×7, and 8 Wallets……………………………$54

#5 Two 8×10 and 8 Wallets………………………………………….$44

#6 One 8×10, One 5×7, and 8 Wallets…………………………..$42

#7 One 8×10 and 8 Wallets………………………………………….$29


8 Wallets…………………………………..$15                        48 Wallet Special……………………….$50

One Proof…………………………………$8                            Four 3 1/2×5….. ………………….. ……$32

One 5×7…………………………………….$13                           Two 5×7……………………………………$26

One 8×10………… …………………. …..$15                             One 8×10 Canvas…………………..$120

One 11×14…………………………………$45                             One 11×14 Canvas……………….. $150

One 16×20……… ……………………….$100                              One 16×20 Canvas………………..$200

One 20×24…………………………………$150                             One 20×24 Canvas………………..$300

One 20×30…………………………………$280                             One 20×30 Canvas………………..$400

One 24×30…………………………………$380                             One 24×30 Canvas………………..$550

One 30×40………….. ……………………$480                             One 30×40 Canvas………………..$650

Prices do not include frames. Many styles and price ranges
are available. Prices do not include sales tax or any shipping & handling.



Sarasota Wedding Spots

ent Tree Country Club
Bird Key Yacht Club
The Bradenton Yacht Club
Cafe on the Bay
Caroline’s on the Bay
The Chelsea Center
The Colony Beach Resort
The Country Club of Sarasota
El Conquistador Country Club
The Crosley-Powell Estate
The Field Club
Heritage Oaks Country Club
The Hilton, Longboat Key
The Holiday Inn, Lido
The Holiday Inn, Longboat
The Holiday Inn, Riverfront
The Holiday Inn, Venice
The Hyatt
Laurel Oaks Country Club
The Longboat Key Club
The Manatee Convention Center
The Manatee River Garden Club
The Meadows Country Club
Mote Marine
New College (Cook Hall)
The Oaks Country Club
Palm-Aire Country Club
Pelican Pointe Golf and C.C.
Peridia Country Club
The Phillippi Estate
The Plantation Golf and C.C.
The Plaza Restaurant
The Ramada of Osprey
Rosedale Country Club
The Sarasota Garden Club
The Selby Gardens
Spanish Point Chapel
Stoneybrook Country Club
The Summerhouse Restaurant
University Park Country Club
The Vinoy Hotel
The Waterside Room
The Women’s Club of Palmetto

Helpful Wedding Suggestions

I trust you will find these suggestions helpful…

Budget extra time for those special photographs of the two of you. If you are getting married in a great outdoor location, such as the Selby Gardens, you probably will want to make the most of it with your photography.

Allow plenty of time to get ready. There are usually a lot of last minute details to take care of, and you still have to get dressed. If any members of your bridal party always seem to be late, I suggest telling them to be there an hour before they really need to be.

Hiring a wedding coordinator is an excellent idea. They minimize the chaos that can come up, and ensure that your day runs smoothly.

In the Church:
For the best photos, consider facing each other when at the altar. If you have your backs to the audience, we can’t see your faces.

Also, please remind the bridal party and all the family members whom you wish to be photographed to remain at the church until they have been photographed.

If you have a receiving line at the church, be aware that it takes about 15 minutes per 100 guests to file past to congratulate you.(This can be important when figuring out your arrival time at your reception.)

Outdoor Weddings: Outdoor weddings can be quite beautiful. I suggest considering the following elements:

  • The Ceremony Time- where the sun is located in the sky at your ceremony time can make a big difference in the quality of your photography.


  • The Time of Sunset-usually the best and most dramatic light is 30 minutes before sunset to 15 minutes after.


  • Shade-trees or tents for relief from the sun is an excellent idea.


  • Insects-(Fire-ants, love-bugs, no-see-ums, gnats, mosquitos). Bugs are a fact of life here in Florida, so you may want to consider having electric fans, insect sprays, citronella candles and the like to help keep the bugs away.


  • The Weather- wind, rain, heat, and humidity can be a big factor both in how you look and how you feel. This is why I stress the importance of having a very workable indoorback-up plan in case of bad weather. Planning an outdoor wedding between early June and early October (Hurricane season) without having a back-up location can be very risky.

The Limo:
When it comes to hiring a limo, be sure to consider the time needed for photography at the church when telling the driver when to pick you up.

Drinking heavily the night before or having one or more drinks just before your ceremony tends to make one look tired or sleepy. If you are planning to have a guys/ladies night out before your wedding, please try to make it at least two days before your wedding.

On Hiring Wedding Vendors:
If you haven’t experienced your vendors personally, don’t be afraid to ask for references. You have every right to ask for a sample to taste-test, or to see recent examples of their work, or to ask to observe them working on location at another wedding. You are spending a lot of money for photography, music, food, cake and flowers, and you should have a very clear idea of how you will be taken care of.



Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice Wedding Photography Venues


Ascenscion Lutheran
Bahia Vista Mennonite
Bayshore Mennonite
Bee Ridge Baptist
Bethel Mennonite
Cafe on the Bay
The Colony Beach Resort
Concordia Lutheran
Cook Hall (New College)
Covenant Life    Presbyterian
The Country Club of    Sarasota
The Crosley-Powell Estate
Faith Baptist
First Baptist of Osprey
Faith Lutheran
Faith Presbyterian
First United Methodist
Good Shepherd Lutheran
Grace Baptist
The Hilton, Longboat
The Holiday Inn, Lido
The Holiday Inn,    Longboat
Holy Cross Lutheran
The Hyatt
Incarnation Catholic
Liberty Baptist
Longboat Island Chapel
The Longboat Key Club
Marina Jack Restaurant
Myakka State Park
New College
The Oaks Country Club
The Church of the Palms
The Phillippi Estate
Pineshores Presbyterian
The Plaza Restaurant
The Radisson
The Church of the    Redeemer
Restoration Fellowship
Ringling Rose Garden
The Rock
Sarasota Baptist
The Sarasota Garden Club
The Selby Gardens:

·  The Gazebo

·  The Payne House

·  The Oak tree

·  The Banyan tree

·  The Bo tree
Southside Christian
Spanish Point
St. Andrew
St. Boniface
St. James
St. Martha’s
St. Michael’s
St. Patrick’s
St. Paul’s
St. Thomas More
The Summerhouse    Restaurant
The Tabernacle
Temple Beth Sholom
Unity Church
University Park Country    Club
Vamo United Methodist
Victory Christian Family    Center
Westminster Presbyterian


Bradenton Colonial Baptist
Bradenton Yacht Club
Christ Episcopal
Christ United Methodist
Church of the Cross
Community Church of God
Congregational United
Dry Prairie Baptist(Duette)
Ellenton Methodist
The Gamble Plantation
The Holiday Inn, Riverfront
Hope Presbyterian
Living Lord Lutheran
Miakka City Methodist
Miakka Methodist
Our Lady Queen of    Martyrs
Palma Sola Bay Baptist
Palmetto First Baptist
Palmetto Presbyterian
Peridia Country Club
The Church of the Rock
Rosedale Country Club
Roser Memorial Chapel
Roser Memorial Church
St. Barbara’s
St. Peter and Paul
South Florida Museum
Trinity United Methodist
Unity Church
Westside Christian


First Baptist
Grace United Methodist
The Holiday Inn
Venice Bible Church
Venice Golf and Country    Club
Venice-Nokomis United    Methodist


The Beaches of…

·  Anna Maria

·  Casey Key

·  Lido Key

·  Longboat Key

·  Siesta Key
St. Pete Museum of    History
The Vinoy Hotel,
St. Pete

Wedding Photography Costs in Colorado

Package 1 $ 699
3 Hours Coverage
72 Finished prints
Package 2 $ 899
4 Hours Coverage
144 Finished Prints
Protective Album
Package 3 $1,099
5 Hours Coverage
144 Finished Sprayed Prints
Protective Album
Portrait Sitting
(4) 8×10 Enlargements
Package 4 $1,299
5 Hours Coverage
144 Finished Sprayed Prints
Leather Album
Portrait Sitting
(4) 8×10 Enlargements
(6) 5×7 Enlargements

Package 5 $1,999
Unlimited Time Coverage
Unlimited Sprayed Prints
Leather Album
(2) Leather Parent’s Albums
Portrait Sitting
(8) 8×10 Enlargements
(12) 5×7 Enlargements

Digital vs. Film

Digital technology is moving at an astonishing rate. Prices for both consumer and professional cameras are plummeting just as fast as performance and quality are increasing. Due to the tremendous advancement, many wedding photographers have made the move to digital. Less than five years ago, few photographers offered digital wedding photography, now industry experts estimate that 50-70% of all weddings are either partially or completely shot with professional digital cameras.

You probably own a digital camera yourself, one you can stick in your shirt pocket or inside your purse. You’ve marveled at the quality of your images, but is digital good enough to capture one of the most important events of your life? Your wedding day? Decide for yourself as I explain the pros and cons of digital vs. film.

Instant feedback. That is what everybody loves about digital. Believe me, professional photographers love it just as much as you do. How often have you gotten a photo back, only to discover that several people blinked at the crucial moment? Shooting digital helps ensure that every shot turns out the way the photographer intended.

Resolution. Most professional digital cameras are capable of capturing images with a resolution of 6 MP or more. That is 6 million mega pixels per image. Enough pixels to print beautiful photographs up to 16×20 inches. You cannot tell the difference between a print from film or a print from digital!

Never change film rolls. Of course with digital there is no film. Digital cameras use tiny little re-usable cards that store high resolution digital files. The newest cards hold 8GB of data, that’s over 2000 images! Or in film terms, 55 rolls. You’ll never need to worry that I’ll run out of film at a crucial moment. Another amazing aspect of digital photography is the ability to move from bright sunlight to a candle-lit church and still get perfect pictures. The camera’s sensitivity to light, also referred to as ISO, can be changed with each image. It’s done with the flick of a thumb. That’s just not possible with film.

Black & white and special effects. Just about everybody has heard of Photoshop, an amazing, but complex image editing software. Certain effects that were previously created by using certain films, filters and processing techniques can now be done on the computer in a fraction of the time. Color is converted to black & white, black & white is sepia-toned, black & white images are spot-colored. But Photoshop allows for even more creativity in telling the story of your wedding day. I create photo collages, mix color and black & white images on a single print, use images as transparent backdrops for other images, even “swap heads” in group shots to get the best picture possible. I have invested substantial time in learning Photoshop’s complexity. If you “go digital” you should ask each photographer you interview about his or her Photoshop skills. If they are not doing it, they are paying another professional to do it. That cost gets passed back to you.

Cost. Speaking of costs, digital photography is a two-sided issue for many professional photographers. Without considering the substantial start-up costs of digital cameras, computer equipment, software and printers, actual material costs are definitely lower. There are no film and photo lab processing costs and if you choose a digital album on CD or DVD, there are no print costs. Therefore many digital photographers no longer limit the amount of images they shoot.

However, the labor cost is considerably higher. Work previously done by photo labs is now done by the photographer on the computer: editing images, producing special effects with Photoshop, and creating the digital wedding album (CD or DVD set to music) can take 5 to 7 days. For this reason, digital photographers generally charge the same as they did when shooting film, but you, the wedding couple win substantially: you get a lot more bang for your buck!

Print size. Presently, one of the only advantages film still has over digital, is in producing large prints with more detail and clarity. When I say large, I mean 20×24 and larger! However, only if shot with a medium format camera, as the film used is three times larger than a 35mm film. However with any print 16×20 or smaller you cannot tell the difference. The more popular sizes, such as 11×14 and 8×10 do not print any better with film, whether shot with medium format or 35mm.

Fine Art black & white prints. You can certainly make beautiful black & white prints from digital files, but if you want the traditional fine art silver-based fiber paper, your wedding photographer must shoot with black & white film. I also create fine art photography, and will, upon request, complement your wedding pictures with traditional black & white film.

Why not have a friend shoot with their digital camera?
I’m sure you have already asked yourself this question. Here is an honest answer, as I’ve been asked by friends before. Firstly there is the issue of asking your photographer friend to work at your wedding. And don’t kid yourself, if your friend is photographing your wedding and you want decent photos, he or she will be working the entire time. They will not be attending as your wedding guest, nor will they be able to relax and celebrate the day with you. Secondly, even if your friend is a gifted photographer, it takes special people skills, organizational talent and experience with problem-solving to create consistently good images of a wedding – and to keep everyone happy. You should also consider what you want for keeps. If you want a great looking album, maybe even one that is customized exactly to your liking, your photographer friend will not be able to get one for you. These albums are only sold to professional wedding photographers. Most photographers have a range of packages and prices. Inquire about a payment plan that fits your budget.

Are all digital cameras the same?
Professional vs. Consumer 
Resolution and Zoom. Resolution is not everything. Even though several cameras targeted for consumers boast some impressive numbers, there are other factors to consider. All professional cameras use interchangeable lenses instead of a fixed lens. The optics on these lenses is far superior to those of built-in lenses. The zoom factor is generated optically rather than digitally, guaranteeing a higher quality image.

Delay factor. Have you noticed that several seconds pass from the moment you press the shutter until the image comes up on the screen? And then it’s not quite what you thought you were photographing? The electronics and technology in professional cameras are much more sophisticated (ergo more expensive) than those in consumer digital cameras. And one such obvious difference is the response time after you press the shutter on your camera. It is much longer. This delay is to blame for all those missed candid moments. With professional digital cameras, the image is taken the instant the shutter is pressed. This was a crucial decision factor in my move to digital. My talent lies in anticipating and capturing those precious moments.

I hope this article has shed some light on aspects of digital photography you may have been wondering about. I also hope it has layed to rest any fears you may have held about “Going Digital” for your wedding. If you still have questions I welcome your email and your comments.
This article is copyrighted by Christine Krieg. However, permission to duplicate is granted as long as copyright and contact information remains visible.


Light is everything!

It is the key to enhancing your creativity in photography and will be the most important element in developing a personal style.

Now it’s time to use more dramatic lighting. Colordirection and quality are the essential elements of dramatic light. Go forth and seek dramatic light. Follow it whenever possible.

The color of light changes as the sun moves across the sky. In the early morning and late afternoon, when the sun is low, the light has a warm, orange-yellow glow. It also produces long shadows and textures, lending a two-dimensionality to your subject making it some of the best light for dramatic images.

Later in the day, the higher the sun climbs, the light becomes “cooler”, that is it has a more “natural” look. If the sun is blocked by clouds, or you are photographing your subject in the shade on a sunny day, or you are at high altitude, your pictures will have a bluish-gray cast to them. There is nothing wrong with your camera or your film, it is the color of the light! (You can correct this with a warming filter.)

The best times for that warm light are from sunrise to about 60-90 minutes after sunrise and again in the evening from 60-90 minutes before sunset until sunset. At the height of summer that warm light disappears much quicker, but in the winter, when the sun seems to rise more slowly, it will last longer.

The direction from which light strikes a subject can dramatically enhance or subtract from the image. The main directions are front, side, top and back. Moving your subject, or yourself, can often provide the solution to unflattering light, but if not, you may need to return at the correct time of day.

Front lighting will give you colorful pictures, the ones you’ve already been taking, but they’ve become boring, haven’t they? The reason they look flat is because the sculpting shadows that create depth and two-dimensionality are now falling directly behind your subject. Investigate the trade offs in moving yourself. If a short, flat walk produces a better angle it is definitely worth the effort. The only front light that is flattering is, of course, the early morning or late afternoon light with its warm glows. You can use it to make nice portraits or photograph other details such as buildings with pleasing results.

Side lighting is the best kind of light to capture drama and mood in land and cityscapes. This kind of light emphasizes textures, shapes and colors by introducing a third dimension to your subjects. Add to this the special glow of morning or evening light and you have all the drama you may want-without the bad weather. Use it whenever possible. Be aware though that the long shadows will not be so flattering in portraits, unless you want to emphasize somebody’s wrinkles.

Back lighting is frequently used for dramatic silhouettes, such as in sunset shots, but also at other times of the day. Back light can be very evocative, even romantic as it highlights specific elements, such as the outline of a cloud, rising smoke or sea spray. In portraits it creates halos around hair and body. However, be aware that strong back light can fool your camera’s meter and you may end up with an underexposed portrait unless you compensate for this (i.e. by using a touch of fill-flash). Also take care that back light does not shine directly into the lens as it produces flare.

One option many amateur photographers forget is to use back light to emphasize translucence. Let back light shine through the dense foliage of trees, a cluster of leaves, even flowers and clouds for an almost ethereal image.

Top lighting is the direction during the middle of the day and the least desirable of all as it washes out colors and often too bright and harsh. But often it is now or never. With people, top light produces all the wrong shadows (under the eye and even under the nose) But with people there is often an easy solution: move your (human) subject out of the direct sunlight and into open shade (see below). Otherwise, slightly underexpose and/or use a polarising filter to darken the scene a bit and enhance colors.

The quality of light, in addition to the position of the sun, is determined mainly by weather. The most dramatic light occurs during inclement or less than ideal weather. Sun striking a mountain as a storm is brewing right behind it. Or the sun illuminating the edges of a cloud, before it emerges from behind it. Rain and fog produces soft and even lighting and colors are richer, more saturated, lending a painterly feel to landscapes. And here’s another secret, rain streaks almost disappear against a light grey sky.

There are also other types of light, that should be considered.

Overcast skies and open shade are often wrongly maligned by amateur photographers. In fact, overcast skies act like one giant diffuser giving you the soft and low contrast light you want to reveal details not visible in high contrast light. It also saturates colors giving them the extra punch that will make your pictures stand out. In portraits you will have even lighting across the face without the harsh shadows of direct light. It also eliminates the problem of squinting eyes. Look for striking colors, shapes and patterns that can stand alone without sculpting shadows and be sure to leave out the grey, featureless sky in your composition.

Twilight and Dusk light is the time before sunrise and after sunset. It is the best time to take those “night” shots, a scene illuminated with artificial light. At this time there is still enough ambient light to separate buildings and other subjects from the sky . Even on gloomy, overcast days, the sky will turn a royal blue after sunset or be bathed in sunset colors on bright sunny days. It is also an ideal time to capture a rising or setting moon. You will definitely need a tripod.

Candle lightcampfires and other incandescent light are light sources that can lend a very dramatic if not romantic feel to your image. The color of these light sources is much warmer than normal daylight and will certainly capture the mood of the scene. Be aware though that a general light reading of your camera will render the scene underexposed. If you have a spot meter, use it to meter the light falling on the face of your subject without including the light source itself in the reading. If you don’t have a spot meter, bracket your shots by opening up ½ a stop at a time all the way to +3 stops until you get a good feel for how much you need to overexpose from your camera’s meter reading. Shutter speeds will generally be too slow to hand hold, so be prepared with a tripod or a suitable substitute, such as the edge of a table, or rock ledge. Be sure any automatic flash is turned off and use the self-timer to avoid additional camera shake by depressing the shutter.