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Playing with light.

One of the first times I was aware of 'catching the light' happened while out to dinner in a rural restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley, VA. It was a beautiful day of hiking and exploring. My husband and I recently married. A romantic dinner in the Big Bear Lodge with a view of the sun setting in the mountains. Just one problem, my cameras were back in our room. I remember like it was yesterday, darting from the restaurant in the middle of the meal to grab the cameras and get the shot. Must not have been successful, no prints to show for the effort. I've been obsessed with the light ever since and my husband understands it, has even come to accept it.

I'm still running out of places with the camera saying "I'll be right back."

From my Instagram feed, I know how important getting a great sunrise or sunset shot is to everyone. Whether we plan ahead, arriving on the beach with our gear in the dark and waiting for the first glimpse of orange light, or pulling out the cellphone as the magic happens, spur-of-the-moment, it's all about catching the light at the right moment.

I'll be happy to take photos of people anytime of day, but give me a choice and I'm going for 'magic hour or golden hour' about an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset.

No matter your subject, landscapes, people or objects, the warm, soft light most often enhances and flatters. I don't want to do a tutorial here. Plenty of those online and there's abundant information out there to help you plan the timing.

Just saying, give it a try.

I like not taking it too seriously and enjoy playing around with light. I'm often surprised and pleased with the results.

Soft light from a window spilling onto my baby photos. Shooting into the light- and creating silhouettes, using the flare, fun!

Light that provides a mirrored reflection in water or in a window. All these things remind me of the possibilities, things to keep an eye out for.

And when the light isn't working for me, (too bright) I might just have to work a bit harder. Shift my body, (or my subject) and move into the shade, shoot from the side, shoot down, shoot up (yep, even if I have to lay down in the grass.)

There are worse things than lying in the grass, after all.

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