Standard Shipping for delivery by Dec 24 has ended. Most products available with Express Shipping.

Are YOU a Lightchaser?

Today I thought that I would start to share with you all here on RedBubble one of my journals I wrote on deviantART some time back. I will be sharing a lot of these here, updating them accordingly. They are geared at making you a better photographer in many ways, brought from the perspective of wanting to learn, wanting to know the medium better and seeking knowledge, inspiration and motivation to do it all.

Before I begin I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for supporting my work & all the comments which I have received lately. I honestly appreciate it and I know I am home here with some great people! Thank You!

Now let’s dive in!

Are YOU a lightchaser? —-originally written Thu Aug 14, 2008

Are YOU a lightchaser?—- Well are you? The light…and those who chase it is what I am talking about. Without the dynamic light, our photos would suffer and look flat, but the simple fact is that many are chasing it, and no matter what your genre of photography is, it is something seriously important and to consider within your own work. It is one of those things that is so utterly vital, that is plays as much importance in our images as composition itself. For decades, photographers like Galen Rowell, Ansel Adams and Art Wolf have spent hours, weeks, and days, and probably years, chasing the best light of the day.

All about atmosphere—- You essentially have 2 best times of the day to shoot, these are what many refer to as “Golden Hour”, and consists of sunrise and 90 minutes afterwards, and sunset and 90 minutes before. Between the hours of 10am and 3pm in the afternoon is what is often referred to as “Dead Zone”, “Dead Time”, and “Flat Light Time”. During these hours is the worst time of the day to shoot, and the light you capture in your shots is dead and flat in terms of shadow and color. I honestly see so many shots here on DA that could be brilliant but because of the light they fall short. When in fact if the photographer would have waited, it could have been a superstar image. Images shot during “Golden Hour” have the ability to push the color naturally, it is when color is the most saturated, with morning time being full of cool color and evening full of warm color. The results from shooting at these times can be simply astounding and if you have never made a priority of shooting during these times, you should, because it is easily the biggest improvement you can make to your photography and it costs nothing!

It’s the reason why—- Nature photographers keep such crazy schedules…just ask Nate Zeman when he sleeps and you will find out why lol Most people probably think we’re nuts, getting up at 330-4am to head out to the mountains and get the sunrise, but the reward is more than enough. Not only do you get to enjoy nature without the noise, pollution, crowds of tourists and traffic, let alone people, we are getting some of the best light….the best atmosphere….which nature allows. It is sheer serenity. Like nothing else experienced.

Challenge yourself!—- Do it! If you are used to shooting in the mid day, know that your images are never what they could be, and never will be. Challenge yourself! Try it once, and see what happens. Get up before the sunrise and set out on a photo journey, determined to get the best shots you can, and settle for nothing less! Challenge yourself to head out a couple hours before sunset, and start shooting when the light is optimal, I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed! Check out the shots above for instance and notice how important the light alone is in the these shots is. Now imagine if these were taken at 12 high noon? Hard to envision that isn’t it? They would lose so much, so much impact gone, and honestly, I doubt that they would work. So get on with it, be a Lightchaser! You have nothing to lose, and every thing to gain!

I remember a quote that goes something like; “at 4am you can bet that there is a serious nature photographer standing on the shores waiting to catch the best light”—Adam Stoltman, NYT

For more on this, and how light affects the color and saturation of photos at the time of day you choose to shoot at, please read the entry Time of Day Impacts the Light by Russell Burden on the Outdoor Photographer Magazine website.

Examples below of exceptional light in photography


  • Kathy Bucari
    Kathy Bucariover 3 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!!! I am an amateur to say the least and your experience and instruction are fantstic!!!

  • Why thank you Kathy, I really appreciate that a lot, and more to come! :)

    – John De Bord Photography

  • And by the way, nice to see a fellow Sony shooter, too!

    – John De Bord Photography

  • Kathy Bucari
    Kathy Bucariover 3 years ago

    BTW The photographs are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • :) Ya they sure are, all of which are very inspiring!

    – John De Bord Photography

  • D Byrne
    D Byrneover 3 years ago

    I like the afternoon light, the nocturnal part of me…….

    Great collection by the way

  • I am partial to morning myself, no people around and less pollution

    – John De Bord Photography

  • Jinwei
    Jinweiover 3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this! I never considered that before, being a beginner.

  • :) You are welcome, hope it helps

    – John De Bord Photography

  • shilohlin
    shilohlinover 3 years ago

    Exceptional write and info! Very “enlightening” no pun intended (well maybe) and the photos shown here are
    absolutely breath taking! Thanks for sharing :o)

  • lol thanks!

    – John De Bord Photography

  • LightEfex
    LightEfexover 3 years ago

    Excellent article, John – The “Light” is what it’s all about!

    Beautiful, compelling images to make your point, too.


  • Thanks Mike!

    – John De Bord Photography

  • Jay Ryser
    Jay Ryserover 3 years ago

    Great work – be sure to add this HERE

  • thanks Jay and will do!

    – John De Bord Photography

  • Warren  Patten
    Warren Pattenover 3 years ago

    Nice work John,,I love the morning light…It’s sunday 5.30am

  • :) Yep same here, I prefer it more than evening light myself, though either certainly gets the job done!

    – John De Bord Photography

  • JanT
    JanTover 3 years ago

    Woo! Gorgeous! I wish I were a morning person (and a skilled photographer!). These are so outstanding, and even better seeing them in this larger size, John. Did you post to the Tutorials Library? I hesitate to put a link here, but I’ll bmail it, in hopes that more will see this!

  • well you certainly have skill! As far as a morning person, I never was ever, until I started shooting then and really realized how nice it is. No people, no pollution, no noise and no traffic!

    – John De Bord Photography

  • adrian76
    adrian76over 3 years ago

    I’m a morning shooter… I shoot my portraits in early morning light, for the softness it brings out of skin tones

  • :) It’s my favorite time of day!

    – John De Bord Photography