These two pictures of Ruralite Editor Leon Espinoza show the impact of light choices. The one on the left was photographed with natural light. The one on the right uses artificial light. Photos by Mike Teegarden

Above are 2 photos of Ruralite magazine Editor Leon Espinoza. One is a dramatically lit photo and the other is … well, bland.

What amazing technique did I use to create such dynamically different photos? My eyes.

The only difference was a few minutes time and the recognition that the light was doing something special. I saw the narrow beam of light on Leon’s face during a small window of time in the morning as it snuck its way into his office. It lasted 10 minutes, then was gone. To shoot the photo, I adjusted the exposure on my camera for the bright spot on Leon’s face. Pretty simple, but the result is a much more interesting photo.

Train your eyes to see opportunities where light is doing something different, and always keep a camera handy so when it happens you are ready. There are many ways to adjust your camera’s light exposure. Here is one helpful explanation from the Digital Photography School blog.

Find more photography tips on our blog.