Easily Know Where The Light Is Coming From :: Digital Photo Secrets

Easily Know Where The Light Is Coming From

by David Peterson 16 comments

Our second "Power of 5" winner is Vanessa Lister. Vanessa's tip was something I hadn't heard of before - and is a very quick and easy way of making sure your subjects aren't squinting into the light. Congratulations Vanessa, you're also the proud recipient of a Canon A630 camera. - David

Great photos need the light coming from the right direction. Shooting towards the light can cause your subject to squint – never a good look. So how do you know which direction this is? It's easy to work out when the sun is shining, but what about those flat grey, cloudy or overcast days when the light seems all around?

Many shots are ruined by overexposure if you accidentally shoot into the light without realizing. The tip? Always keep a white business card in your pocket or camera bag. Fold the business card in half to bend it into a V shape. Hold it up in front of you so you are looking at the folded crease.

You will see straightaway if one side of the card is brighter than the other. You have now found out where the light is coming from! Move your subject (or yourself) around and hold the card up again to check the light direction. You can position your subject or yourself to make the most of the outdoors light, even on misty grey flat days.

Vanessa Lister

Most people think this post is Awesome. What do you think?


  1. Larrie says:

    Thanks Vanessa.

  2. Hanafi says:

    Thank you for sharing with me...

  3. Ed V says:

    For me as a complete amateur, I can say that I was delighted with this tip. thanks so much. I will be trying thisnout ,...like yesterday.



  4. Glenn Kasner says:

    Brilliant tip simple yet effective!
    Thanks for sharing

  5. Elise Mitton says:

    Very, very clever idea, I'll be trying this one. Thanks Vanessa from Elise in Oz.

  6. rayman says:

    Great and simple tip,
    a real winner.

  7. Lyle says:

    Thank you for a very useful tip that is also convenient.

  8. Joy says:

    Thank you for this great light idea. Happy shooting and Happy 2007, PhotoJoy

  9. Tom says:

    Thanks so much! A simple and wonderful idea.

  10. bona says:

    This sounds like a great tip and I do intend to try it........since living in Europe, we do get lots of overcast days.......thanks for this one!!!!

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