In wildlife photography, we as photographers are constantly chasing good light! Yes, light varies a lot when out in the field and is just one of those things that is out of our control, so we need to be able to assess light and utilize it to the best of our ability. Majority of the time, it is a photographers dream to have golden light at our backs while we are photographing and yes this is perfect, but I want to ask you, what do you do once you have the shot? Is it worth taking 100 more images of the exact same scene? In my opinion, it absolutely isn't! You are just filling up your memory card with hundreds of the same thing. This is the perfect time to think outside the box, either change your angle, look at the scene and see how you can capture something different, how can you use the light or conditions in a different way?
I see it with many photographers, as soon as the light is a bit difficult or you are on the ''wrong" side of the the light, the cameras get put down, now I ask you all, why? It is a golden opportunity(excuse the pun) to move out your comfort zone and mindset of always having the light coming from behind and try something new, because you never know just how well it may work out.
Shooting into he light offers something different to a photograph, it often can illuminate your subject and draw attention. It isn't always easy shooting into the light, but as I mentioned before, it is something different, look at it as high risk high reward. There are specific scenarios that work very well with backlight from the sun, such as dust clouds or dust created by a subject, silhouettes or fine hair of your subject such as a lions fur or mane. The human eye is always drawn to the brightest and sharpest point in a photograph and this is where shooting into the light can become helpful.
I urge you all to try this, I am not saying go out and not get the shots you are after with the beautiful light coming from behind you, I am saying look for these opportunities, think outside the box and try something a little different. Shoot into the light, play around, but most importantly, have fun! Photography should be something you enjoy doing, something that you constantly push yourself to be better, but never forgetting why you are doing it. So get out there, play around and just enjoy yourself.
Take a look at the images below, let them inspire you and let them give you an idea of what to look for when you may find yourself in a similar situation...
Until next time,