The emotions that you manage to capture and share in your photos are in my eyes the only criterion for making remarkable photos. Focused on the emotional load you can bring in your images, I designed a 6-step method to learn photography. Light is the 4th step to achieve this. Day lights and night lights are one of the six fundamental aspects of light to be known in photography.

The Light: the 4th level of the 6 photographic techniques to capture and share emotions in your photos

Day Lights, Night Lights: More Nuances Than You Might Think

Daylight is of course the light emitted when the sun is visible in the sky or just below the horizon. But the sun does not always emit the same light according to the time of day:

  • The ordinary daylight: the one that seems white to us all day long
  • The daylight of the golden hour: it is the light during the hour after the sunrise or before the sunset
  • The daylight of the blue hour: it is the light during the hour before the sunrise and after the sunset
Landscape illuminated by the sun light at the golden hour
The golden hour is the hour after the sunrise or before sunset. The sun is very low on the horizon, the light passes through a greater distance of the atmosphere and loses its blue colors. The light of the golden hour is therefore yellow-orange. Praia o Camilo, Lagos, Portugal, 2013. Nikon D800 and Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 with neutral gray filter, 17mm, f/16, 4s, ISO 100 © Amaury Descours
Landscape illuminated by the sky light at the blue hour
The blue hour is the hour before the sunrise or after sunset. The sky is the main source of light, so it illuminates the scene with a bluish color. Depending on your white balance, you can more or less accentuate this blue color. Praia Dona Ana, Lagos, Portugal, 2013. Nikon D800 and Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 with neutral gray filter, 23mm, 25s, f/16, ISO 100 © Amaury Descours

The night lights hide in fact many possible sources of light:

  • The night light of the stars (most notably the Milky Way)
  • The night light of the Moon (more precisely, the light of the Sun reflected by the Moon)
  • The night artificial lights of the city

The light of the blue hour could be almost classified as a night light.

Night sky
In clear weather, it is possible to capture the light of stars through long poses. The Moon or urban lights can also illuminate the landscape. Ponta Da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal, 2013. Nikon D800 and Nikkor 28mm f/1.8, 28mm, 20s, f/1.8, ISO 3200 © Amaury Descours
Urban Light in Photography
The artificial lights of a city allow to capture the night atmosphere. Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, New York, USA, 2015. Nikon D800 and Nikkor 16-35mm f/4, 16mm, 30s, f/10, ISO 100 © Amaury Descours

The Emotions of Day and Night Lights

Daylight, especially with the light of the golden hour, will evoke you most often the following emotions:

The artificial light of cities during the night, especially during the blue hour will provoke in you most certainly the following emotions:

The light of the moon and the stars, and cold lights in general by their bluish or even pale tints can also cause the following emotions:

Do you often take pictures during the golden hour? Do they seem more evocative than the pictures in the middle of the day? Did you try to make pictures during the blue hour? Are you tempted by the night photos? Leave me your comments, I will answer with pleasure.

Let’s Go On Together!

Learn how to photograph with my 6-step method to make your photos first with your emotions. An intuitive approach that focus on you and what you are feeling, before being helped by techniques and tools!

Then understand why light in photography is indispensable in the expression of your emotions and be inspired by the different aspects of light:

  1. Direct Light / Diffuse Light: the effects of shadow and contrast on your emotions
  2. Directional Light: different light positions for different emotions
  3. Day Lights / Night Lights (this post)
  4. Natural Light / Artificial Lights: the contrast of various color temperatures and emotion stimulations
  5. Warm Light / Cold Lightwhite balance interactions with emotions
  6. Single Light / Multiple Lights (soon): introduction of subtlety and complexity with light for your emotions

Do not miss my future posts to better capture and share your emotions in picture: subscribe to my newsletter and get my free eBokk!

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