31+ Days Of Photography Experiments – Different Times Of Day = Different Light = Different Photos

Friday’s Topic was One Subject, Ten Photos

Welcome to another week of photography experiments! This week we’ll be shooting different angles in Getting Low, playing with smoke in Light Through Smoke as well as trying to Shoot In Mid-day Sun. But first, let’s start with Monday’s experiment; Different Times Of Day = Different Light = Different Photos.

The purpose of the 31+ Days Of Photography Experiments series is not to bring up earth shattering concepts, but to start you looking at light, and how you capture it, in a different way. Today’s experiment will seem obvious, but it will be helpful to run through it, even if you read the title and commented, “Duh!”

Here’s the experiment you can run:

1) This experiment will go slow, so let’s try Manual Mode today. As the light will be changing in this experiment, you will need to think through changes to Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO as appropriate. If you get stuck, leave a comment and I will help out.

2) Choose a subject which is in an area where light will change during the day. Outside will likely be best, but items inside, with ample windows, work just as well.

3) Shoot your subject at three or four different times of the day. Keep the framing and point of view the same in each image so they match up. In other words; same subject, same camera location.


Some things to think about while performing this experiment:

  • How is the light helping or hindering your shots?
  • How does the mood in the image change?
  • What would happen if you got obsessive and shot your subject each hour?
  • Get crafty and try this experiment with more than one object at a time.

Here are three shots I took this weekend of a tree out front of my house. The first two were fairly close together, about two hours apart. But I missed the chance for a sunset shot, opting instead to wait two nights and catch the accent lights at night (with a little bit of camera blur from having the shutter open for .5 seconds!). Same tree, totally different feel.

31+ Days Of Photography Experiments - Different Times Of Day = Different Light = Different Photos


Changes in lighting will make a dramatic shift in the mood and content of your photos. Remember, you are taking pictures of light, not just of objects. How that light interplays and interacts with your subject is important.

What I hope you learn from this experiment is to not always accept the light that is given to you and take bad pictures because of it. Sometimes you might stumble upon a great subject, but the lighting in horrible. Wait a while, or maybe half a day, until the lighting improves. Come back on a different day or different time of season. Think long term and visualize how you want the light to appear with a particular subject then take steps to make it happen.

I would love to see your experiments if you want to share them. Just include a link in the comments section below. Questions? The comment section works for them too.

Tomorrow’s topic is Get Low. If your camera has a flip out screen on the back, you’re going to love tomorrow’s topic. No flipout screen? I hope you don’t mind getting dirty!

31+ Days Of Photography Experiments is a series written by professional photographer Peter West Carey on The Carey Adventures.Com. The series is designed to unravel the mysteries of photography so you can take better pictures through practical experiments on the material found in 31+ Days To Better Photography. Subscribe here to receive all the updates and bonus material. Your comments are always welcome.

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