Light Break – 131/365


Super scary, my first attempt at a “one shot” wonder, in full manual mode.

I didn’t know what I was going to photograph today, but at first light the girls were up and outside playing and when I went to check on them the sun was just starting to burn the morning dew from the garden.

It looked really nice, and kind of ethereal, so I decided to have a go at capturing it.

(Holly shouted at me though for photographing the garden before the lawn was mown, but it looked cool)

I got my camera ready, switched it on and instantly put it into full manual mode, and manual focus – so I wasn’t tempted to just start shooting!

I walked all around the scene, removing some toys that were on the lawn and around the boarders, and looked for the best angle.

The sunrise was obviously a big factor, and although shooting straight into direct light isn’t ideal, I knew I was going to have to find a way to get the effect I wanted; I wanted to capture a moody, misty look, that included some flowers and the dew drops.

Not a lot to ask then!

When I used to play snooker, someone once told me to stand behind the shot for a few seconds, before leaning down to actually line it up and then shoot. This morning I put that same principe into practice with my photography, and it really helped me take in the whole scene.

I crouched down, and looked for the image I was after. I thought I’d found it, until I turned around to get up and saw the little blue flower you see bottom left of today’s image. That had to be included, and it provided a nice anchor point in the lower left third to balance the stream of light in the top right third.

Now, although I shot this in full manual mode, including focus staying true to my word, I did use the “live” function to tune my settings.

The way I see it, the function is there, so I am free to use it, right? It helps give me some idea of how the final image will be captured, so I think I’d be a little crazy not to leverage the facility.

Also, thanks to some advice from @boteche on Instagram (who is also on a 365 challenge, go check her cool photographs out!!) I pumped the ISO up further than I normally would. This really helped today, in capturing all that dazzling colour in the highlight and with balancing the other settings down to where I wanted them.

Thank you my friend!

I have to say, in edit I have obviously adjusted the tone curve quite a bit to really emphasise the beam of light against the shadows, to really pronounce the effect of the light flooding in during that moment.

I’m cool with that though, because when I actually took the shot, I knew I was going to be doing that during the edit, so I set the camera settings with that in mind; to capture exactly what I wanted. I’ve said it before, for me capturing and editing photographs go 100% hand in hand, they complement each other.

I know it’s not my best photograph overall, but for a million reasons it’s one of my favourites!


Full auto including focus


1/50 shutter speed

ISO 400

24mm focal length

Learnings – crikey, where to begin with what I’ve learnt today. I guess a summary would be to take the time to observe the scene, be mindful of distracting objects and deal with them, to not be afraid of cranking the IOS a bit (I was super mindful of grain, less so now!), more lessons in seeing the moment and just getting to work on capturing it, the photographic “weight” of objects and things, like flowers balancing light beams.

Just a whole world of stuff, and what’s really nice is I am a whole lot more relaxed now about tomorrow’s shot!

P.S. I have to say, I am getting a little twitchy about just taking one shot, I’m looking forward to being able to snap away a little more in the coming days armed with my new found focus and learnings.

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