The Light In The Eyes

myPhotoWalk — Photo Tech Talk

Something I’m growing to appreciate when capturing professional photography is the importance of looking for the light.

When I look through the lens of my camera, I am always searching for the light as it touches the subject of my composition.

And I am discovering that this technique is especially important when photographing wildlife.

I remember sitting in a workshop at the Out Of Africa Wildlife Park, Camp Verde, AZ, listening to Kathleen Reeder, an amazing wildlife photographer and teacher. In her lecture, she spoke of those things that will lead to a good wildlife photo. She emphasized the importance of capturing the light in the animal’s eyes.

So as I was composing for the image of this deer, I kept moving around and waiting until I could see the sunlight shine in its eyes, bringing out the color and beauty. I noticed how the composition seemed to brighten and come alive when the light hit the subject and made different parts of the animal shine. But, overall, I have been impressed that the light in the eyes is the most important part of the image. This is also true when capturing an image of a bird. In fact, I will rarely choose to post-process any photo of a bird or other wildlife if I don’t have the light in the eyes. That’s how important it has become for me.

I encourage you to go to a local zoo or wildlife refuge with your camera; use the longest telephoto lens you have, and a monopod. Take time shooting photos of some of your favorite animals and look for the light in the eyes. Then, when you post-process using your favorite imaging software, choose those photos where you can see the light in the eyes. In fact, as you look through your images, just compare those with the light and others that don’t have the light. You’ll see in an instant what a difference light in the eyes makes in presenting a professional image.

And, sometimes, when I post-process these photos, I like to apply a layer mask, choose a Nik Viveza filter, brighten the image, and paint that brightness in, especially on the eyes. It’s only a subtle adjustment, but it can help bring out the brightness in the eyes of wildlife images.

So dear friend, always look for light in the eyes, in shooting wildlife. You will capture some amazing photographs of wildlife as a result.

You can see more photos of wildlife out in God’s creation in my first myPhotoWalk full color devotional photography book, myPhotoWalk — Quiet Time Moments, daily devotions and devotional photography everyday, just released in multiple print and ebook formats. The cover image, Paradise, was chosen from the myPhotoWalk San Francisco Gallery at our myPhotoWalk—Smugmug Portfolio. The clarity of God’s patterns literally leap from the iPad screen in the Apple® iBooks version. Get it on iBooks — myPhotoWalk — Quiet Time Moments — Apple® iBooks.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!


myPhotoWalk Devotional

… The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23 NLT

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: The Eyes Have It
  • Description: A pensive deer in a park near San Diego, California, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 10/03/15
  • Camera: Nikon D810, Nikkor 80-400mm, FL 400mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/30sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk PhotoShoot in a park near San Diego, California, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Topaz Adjust, Nik Software, Perfect Effects.
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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