Coco and the Angle of Incidence

Coco in Thought

Coco in Thought

Regal Coco

Regal Coco

When photographing Coco, my sister’s dog, over Thanksgiving I played with the angle of incidence – the angle of the light coming into my lens.  If you compare the two images above you’ll notice that when I was above Coco the light was not entering my lens in a direct way, therefore the light was not hazy, and she was not as blown out.  When shooting from below Coco, the angle allowed for more flare or haze as the light came directly into the lens.  This is a perfect example of how photographers should move around, above, or below, their subjects in order to capture the subject in the most pleasing light.   The most pleasing light may be softer, more blown-out light with haze and/or flare, or it may be more direct light allowing for details of the subject to be more definitive.

An easy way to experiment with the angle of incidence is to place a subject such as a vase of flowers in front of a window or door and shoot at different angles.  Once you upload the files, compare the way the light hit your subject based on the angle of the light coming into your lens.

The light being used for the photographs of Coco was hard, direct, and warm light.  The character of the light being used will also influence the final lighting of your subject, but the angle of the light entering your lens is what will result in the differences you see above.

Have fun experimenting and if you would like to share your images with me you can tag me in your post, or send me the link to your post!

22 thoughts on “Coco and the Angle of Incidence

  1. Both photographs of Coco are wonderful, Robyn. I wouldn’t be able to choose, so to combine both aspects of Coco’s personality, I would probably get one of those lovely old double frames (two pictures, one on top, the other below it.) My grandparents had several old oak “carved” double frames in their attic. When they moved to a smaller place, we took them all and did a double frame for each of their five children and their family pictures.

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