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Dramatic Lighting
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Dramatic Lighting

One of the great thrills of travel photography is coming unexpectedly upon a sudden and dramatic light phenomenon—when the light's direction, color, or intensity stops you in your tracks.

As a traveler, you don't often have the luxury of waiting by a scene for a spectacular bit of lighting, but if you know when such light is likely to occur, you can be on the lookout for it. Among the best times to expect dramatic lighting are just before or after a storm. Storms often end with dozens of brilliant rays of sun bursting through a bank of clouds. Similar displays occur on almost any sunny day inside many cathedrals, when the sun pierces the highest windows and a thousand rays gleam down on the altar. Another way to increase your odds of capturing these moments is to rise before the sun and linger until long after it has set. In addition to the theatrics of sunset and sunrise, the low-angle light of these times often brings high drama.

Next: "Silhouettes"