Light is Everything | northern California landscape photographer

How many times have you heard a photographer say that light is everything in an image?  I’m pretty sure I’ve said it myself. And with good reason. Knowing how to shoot in different light can make your image. Or, it can make it fall flat, too. It really depends on your intention and what you want to say or communicate.  There are many different identified types and direction of light. So I’ll save that topic for another day. But today, I’d like to show you how the changing light really changed the images I made.

We ended the year with a trip to Yosemite. Lucky me, I got to see two photographer friends from different parts of our country. Yay! These images were taken one morning while shooting with my friend, Karthika, from the Chicago area. (Check out her FREE e-class Travel Photography Demystified.)  I was standing in essentially the same position for each photo, maybe to the side about six feet. But they were taken about 40 minutes apart. In the first image, the sun is still well behind the mountain. While in the second photo, the sun is shining on the tops of the mountains across the valley creating a beautiful alpenglow effect that is also reflecting in the water. Exposing for the second image was a bit trickier because of the difference in the light hitting the mountain, while the river remained in the shade. I think these are good examples of how light is everything in an image.

Two very similar images emoting two very different feels. And, mostly because of the light.


Light Is Everything

Aperture: ƒ/13 | Focal length: 16mm | ISO: 100 | Shutter speed: 1.6s |

Yosemite Valley View blue hour light is everything


Aperture: ƒ/18 | Focal length: 17mm | ISO: 100 | Shutter speed: 1/8s |

Yosemite Valley View alpenglow light is everything

Here is a vertical view of the scene about seven minutes after the first image as the sun was just beginning to peek over the ridge from across the valley.

Aperture: ƒ/13 | Focal length: 18mm | ISO: 100 | Shutter speed: 1.6s |

Yosemite Valley View morning light blue hour




All landscape and still life images are available for purchase.

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Nadeen Flynn is an award winning northern California portrait and fine art photographer. Living in the greater Sacramento area, she specializes in high school senior and teen portraits as well as fine art landscape and still life photography. Nadeen’s style is authentic, fresh and personality-driven. This retains the timeless features of photography that create family heirlooms. She offers in-person workshops and mentoring. Currently living in rural northern California with her husband and a couple thousand walnut trees, you can follow her photography on Instagram.

Currently booking 2018 high school seniors, couples, and family portraits. Locations include Yuba City/Marysville, East Nicolaus, Wheatland, Lincoln, Woodland, Roseville, Rocklin, and Sacramento areas.

(530) 633-7575

Aperture: ƒ/18 | Focal length: 17mm | ISO: 100 | Shutter speed: 1/8s |

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Iris - You are right; light is everything. Such great example you have posted.

Nadeen Flynn - Thanks, Jenny! Never long enough, but so fun to see you!

Jennifer Carr - You are so right, light is everything! Thanks for sharing the examples! And I’m so glad to have gotten to spend time with you there!

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