Let there be light – showcasing natural & artificial light

I love night-time photography. Whether it’s a snap of a lovely sunset, a dark night sky or an urban setting lit up with artificial light, I think that after-dark scenes look magical. Here are a couple of my favourites…I delved into my ‘sunrise and sunset’ folder on my hard-drive and scrolled through endless snaps of pink skies and twinkling lights to pick a couple that showcased artificial and natural light. I also love taking photos of people and events too, and have been reading up on some tips for taking fantastic candid photos. Fingers crossed that I get invited to a lovely event soon so that I can put this advice into practice!

Anyway, it turns out that I’m quite a fan of taking photos in the evening! I suppose I’m much more likely to be awake at sunset, which is why there are so many photos of red-and-orange skies on my laptop. Although, recently, I’ve been getting up early and heading to the coast to take some sunrise photos too. The trouble is, at this time of year, sometimes the sun never really rises, the sky just gets lighter but without any warm hues.My favourite photo to demonstrate natural light is this vast Suffolk sky (above). The sunset took on a rainbow hue that evening, for just a few moments. I really enjoy capturing silhouettes in my photos so I was delighted to have a vast of range of trees, buildings, a church tower and wind turbine in the foreground. For those of you who know Suffolk, this shot was taken across the flat expanse of farmland on the road from Beccles to the A12. I just happened to be driving past at exactly the right time – only minutes later the sun had set completely. It’s rather amazing what the setting sun can do to the colours of the sky, isn’t it?Similarly, I love to take photos after dark too, when artificial lights lend a comforting glow to the scene. For this type of image I like to use a slower shutter speed (an adjustment that I’ve only just learnt how to use!) to capture golden lights in all their glory. This photo was taken across the marina at Ipswich and shows illuminated boats in the foreground and cosy dock-side apartments in the background. I particularly enjoy the reflections in the water, making it hard to distinguish where the real lights end and the reflected light begins.

I think this photograph showcases artificial light in all its glory; golden, warm, inviting. The same scene in the daylight is beautiful but, at night-time, it’s breathtaking. I sometimes find it hard to capture exactly what I’m seeing as I’m very much a photography novice, but a few tweaks with the camera settings mean that this photo is a pretty-close representation of what it was like to be standing on the side of the docks that evening.


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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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