Quality of Light – Part II

Continuing my exploration into the Quality of Light and how its effects can make or break a photo, here are a few more to illustrate the power of light.

If you enjoyed this article why not check out my post on
Quality of Light – Part I

Quality of Light – Part I

Light makes photographs more interesting and over this weekend, as part of the Photo101 assignments, we’ve been asked to look at the quality of light. How light varies throughout the day.

Depending on what time of day you take your picture will have an impact on the final result.

  • Dawn — before sunrise — can cast a cool blue light, with no shadows.
  • Later in the morning, the light tends to be neutral — and to some, ideal.
  • At midday, the sun reaches its highest point, resulting in dark shadows.
  • Later in the day, in the “golden hour” before sunset, daylight grows softer and redder, creating a magical atmosphere.

Factors can change these conditions, including weather, location, and the time of year.

Here is a selection of photos I have taken at various times of the day to illustrate what light can do to make even the simplest of photos something more interesting.


If you would like to see more photos experimenting with light, please check out my post – Quality of Light – Part II


Some photos are significant not because of what’s depicted, but because of the mood they create. They communicate an idea that transcends the actual subject of the image.

Here’s a photo that conveys a sense of mystery. Can you tell what it is?

Whist wandering around the Everglades I suddenly felt as if I was being watched!
Whilst wandering around the Everglades I suddenly felt as if I was being watched!

In case you need a clue – it’s an Alligator lurking just below the water – it was extremely large and very close. It’s very well camouflaged against the stones and quiet. He had swam up close without me even realizing.

Let’s move on shall we 🙂


Photography means “drawing with light,” and when you snap a picture with your camera, you use and record light to create an image.

A front-lit subject faces the light source and is even-lit and flat, primarily without shadows. Front light is the most straightforward to work with, but isn’t as dramatic.

Side light is fun to experiment with, especially for portraiture, fine art, and architecture.

When you light a subject from the side, the mix of light and shadow shows more depth and reveals textures, patterns, and complexities (even flaws) in the shot. It can create unexpected results, and be more dramatic.

Sun Halo

I was extremely lucky to capture this photo of our sun. The phenomenon is called a Sun Halo or 22° Halo.

This was an amazing moment when I looked up at the sky and managed to frame the sun halo perfectly.
This was an amazing moment when I looked up at the sky and managed to frame the sun halo perfectly. I still think it’s funny that it involves ice crystals especially when you’re basking in the 80/90F degree heat.

Among the most well known halos is the 22° halo, often just called “halo”, which appears as a large ring around the Sun or Moon with a radius of about 22° (roughly the width of an outstretched hand at arm’s length).

The ice crystals that cause the 22° halo are oriented semi-randomly in the atmosphere, in contrast to the horizontal orientation required for some other halos such as sun dogs and light pillars. As a result of the optical properties of the ice crystals involved, no light is reflected towards the inside of the ring, leaving the sky noticeably darker than the sky around it, and giving it the impression of a “hole in the sky”. The 22° halo is not to be confused with the corona, which is a different optical phenomenon caused by water droplets rather than ice crystals, and which has the appearance of a multicolored disk rather than a ring.

You can find out more about Sun Halo’s here


No post on warmth would be complete without a sunset. Here's one I have taken at the famous Mallory Square sunset celebrations in Key West.
No post on warmth would be complete without a sunset picture. Here’s one I have taken at the famous Mallory Square sunset celebrations in Key West.

The Natural World

A good photographer is a constant observer: always watching and studying a scene, from patterns in city traffic to movements in nature. A photographer notices big, sweeping changes — like the sky at dusk — but also the tiniest details.

Exploring the outdoors, with camera in hand, is an opportunity to look for natural lines that lead our eyes to different parts of a frame. Envision the bend of a stream, or the curve of a petal: how can you use these lines in your composition? If you see strong vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines, can you play with the orientation to create a more dynamic composition?

The Natural World

Interesting Tree bark
Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree has interesting Tree bark – Miami Botanical Gardens
A Lizard examining a tree
A Lizard examining a burnt tree – Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Did you spot the frog relaxing?
Did you spot the cheeky frog? He looks so comfortable in his own private oasis


Today, let’s go big. Whether inside or outside, photograph something of massive size. But feel free to interpret big in your own way, and get creative with your shot. Capture all or just part of the subject. Place it in the foreground so it takes up the entire frame. Or shoot it from afar so it appears smaller — yet still prominent.

Well my point of interest to demonstrate BIG is one of the super large cruise ships that sail by every day from the Port of Miami. For something so large they are extremely quiet cutting through the calm waters as if it was butter.

You can be relaxing on the beach or near the bay and suddenly look up and be taken by complete surprise at this massive ship sailing by.

Here are a few shots of these amazing floating hotels.

From this perspective you can not really tell how large the ship is
Going out to sea
Going out to sea
Bon Voyage!
Bon Voyage!

Here are a few more images of cruise ships docked in Key West, FL. In fact these are the ships that will soon be making their way back to Miami.

Cruise Ship
Large Cruise Ship waiting to pick up its passengers at Key West, FL
They are so super big – how do they manage to float?


In this age of social media, we hear the word connect more often, don’t we? Connect with us on Facebook! Connect with me on LinkedIn! Given what today’s technologies can do, it feels like the world is getting smaller, and we’re more connected than ever before.

There are many ways to interpret this theme: from a gadget to a handshake, from a bridge to a gathering among friends. What’s yours?

Today I’m connecting with nature – here are a few subjects who were not too shy to connect with me.

A cheeky racoon raids the local picnic area to see what delicious leftovers he can scoop up.
An Iguana just out for a stroll
An Iguana just out for a stroll
Such a sly smile and what's going on in that brain. Lets not stick around too long to find out!
Alligator – such a sly smile and what’s going on in that brain. Lets not stick around too long to find out!



Bliss and Solitude Revisited

To finish off the weekend review of the photo101 week of assignments I’m revisiting the last two subjects of Bliss and Solitude.

Here are a few more photos that represent these categories.



If you’re interested in looking at the original articles click on the links below.


Experiment with Composition

So I’ve made it to the end of the first week of the Photo101 assignments and have covered topics ranging from Home, Wider Views, Water, Bliss and Solitude.

Now it’s a free for all weekend where we can revisit some of these topics and put into practice what we have learned. I’m using today to showcase some of the other photos that fit into the Home, Wider View and Water category.


Wider Views


Come back tomorrow to see my gallery of pictures depicting shots of Bliss and Solitude from the Photo101 assignments.

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out the original assignment posts related to each of the above categories.

A Wider View


Solitary Tree

Today’s assignment for photo101 is to depict Solitude.

My photo shows a solitary tree reaching up through the undergrowth.

A Lonely Tree
A Lone Tree – Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Even though there is a lot of nature in this photo, the fact it is the only tree of its kind hopefully depicts the feeling of being in a solitary state.

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