I love to go to zoos and amusement parks and just wander around with my camera to see what I can shoot. I just bot back from another great PhotoshopWorld and in order to decompress I took a little trip to nearby Busch Gardens. I noticed a trend while I was walking around. I don’t know about you, but I tend to talk to myself… usually in a number of different voices. What I noticed is that I kept wishing that the clouds would roll in to give me soft light. We tend to get so focused on “Good  Soft light” that we miss out on other “Good Hard light.” The shadows created by direct overhead sun can bring out amazing textures and details that can’t be appreciated any other time. So I took a page out of Roberto Velenzuela’s book about directed and specific practice. I decided I was going to try to spend a good amount of time looking for Hard light shots. (We tend to see what we are looking for, so I changed my focus to find those harder to see little gems.) Now at the end of the day, I would like to say that I found a million amazing shots and my portfolio is overflowing with shots that Time/National Geographic and Mad Magazine are all clamoring for, but the truth is… I got some decent shots and improved my photographic vision… which will make me a better shooter the next time. In a way I am glad that it was hard and that I had to work and stretch… that is what makes it exciting and inspiring, so my hope for you today is that the next time you are out and about in the middle of the day… don’t put away your camera, but rather put away your preconceived ideas about what to shoot and find some new images that are hiding in plain sight right in front of you.

Shadows are what makes this shot intriguing

I like the lines caused by the overhead sun

This texture only shows up this nice when the sun is overhead

This texture only shows up this nice when the sun is overhead

Change your settings and now the sun can spotlight your subject and darken the background for more drama

Change your settings and now the sun can spotlight your subject and darken the background for more drama

Don't play it safe... unless it is a safe. (sorry that was bad!)

Don’t play it safe… unless it is a safe. (sorry that was bad!)

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