How To Use use morning light

Morning RunnerPeaceful Run in The Morning Light

Try to use morning light to get a different feel to your photographs. The early morning is a great time to take advantage of beautiful lighting in photography. And after all, good lighting makes for great photography.

Nature photos and landscape photography are two good situations to take advantage of doing photography at this time of day.  I do most of my macro photography in the morning, when the air is still and the lighting is sweet.

Sedona MorningThe morning light coming from the side brings out the rock's texture

I took this photo at a botanical garden. It has such a beautiful feel of morning light.

It's a soft light that has direction and really brings out both the texture and the detail in this plant.

It makes the photo appear almost 3 dimensional.

softly lit succulentEarly Morning Succulent

Have you ever noticed that when you focus your mind on something, that something tends to appear in some way in your life? If you purchase a new car, or a pair of shoes, then suddenly you notice how many other people have made the same purchase.

I was enjoying my coffee just after sunrise and noticed this beautiful warm glow of light streaming through our front door. I had been focusing for several days on a topic to cover as my next article.

I thought about lighting in photography as something I should write more about. After all, it is the light that creates the form, textures, shapes and the colors of photographs.

Normally, I would not consider the floor or the door to the basement as a particularly interesting subject to photograph. 


As a photographer it can be great practice for you to occasionally stop and look at the light. Once her twice during your busy day, stop for just a few seconds and observe where the light is coming from and how it is revealing objects or people.

Look at textures, shapes, shadows and brightness of different areas in your field of view.

look for inside morning light

You never know when photo opportunities might arise. May it a practice to be ready and have your camera convenient to get to. Office buildings, restaurants, and stores often have large windows and early in the morning you may get a chance to take an interesting photograph.

Photo with good morning light

I set my coffee down, grabbed my Canon and took this photo to illustrate the point of this article on lighting in photography. I was fascinated by the texture, shapes and reflections of the morning light coming through the frosted window panes of the front door.

I was particularly interested in the differences in the reflections of the sunlight on the floor, on the wall, and on the side door.

Examples of How To Use Morning Light

How to use morning light actually often comes down to answering when and where to do your photography. The half hour before and after sunrise is referred to a one of the golden hours and the span between theses two times is often the answer on when to take the best morning light photos.

Sweet morning light in MaineSweet morning light just after sunrise
Acadia National Park - Maine

In the Acadia sunrise photo above, just after sunrise was the timing I used. The where was a spot where the sun was just out of the frame, but the suns warm rays were creating beautiful warm highlights on the rocks.

For the morning macro photo below, the where was in the shade from the house, in the backyard,  while the sun was low in the sky in the front of the house.

For the morning orchard photo below, the when was while I was on my way to work. With the camera conveniently stowed in my work van, it was a quick pullover on the side of the road, jump out, and shoot. As it turned out this was a print that sold  to a local fan. 

morning orchard lightMorning Orchard Light

In the seascape photo below I was experimenting with long exposure photography. The morning light was extra soft because the suns rays were partially obscured by the clouds. The warmth of the sunlight was the perfect contrsst to the coolness of the ocean water.

Cape May morning lightCape May Morning Light
30 second exposure using a neutral density filter

Learning how to use morning light is a continuous process. Answering the questions of when and where will lead you in the right direction.

It has taken me many years of practicing to see the light and get better at recognizing the 4 Elements of Photo Lighting.

Please take advantage of all of the tips on taking photos on this website. See the related lighting posts listed below my signature.

Article published by Bruce Lovelace


Bruce is the publisher of this website. He is the author of the book "Improve Your Photography Instantly."  Read more on Bruce on his Bio Page. He's been known as The Traveling Photographer ever since 1994. Read more about this website.

View some of Bruce's photos on Instagram.   Visit the Facebook Page. Watch him on YouTube.  Bruce runs photo workshops for kids and adults, and provides one-on-one photography coaching.

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