An important element in any photograph is the quality of light. Great composition with average light creates an average image. Trying to capture “sweet light” is the reason as photographers we are out shooting before dawn and staying out until well after sundown. This idea of light quality is so important that I would suggest that you search for quality light and then find a subject to place in it.
In the image at the top of this post that is exactly the idea that I had. I went to Steptoe Butte late one evening to capture what I thought would be a beautiful sunset. As I got closer to my destination I realized even though the landscape was beautiful the light might not cooperate. As I traveled up the road higher toward the summit the clouds socked in and I became anxious about the possibility of obtaining the shot I had envisioned.
I stopped at the area where I had planned to take the image and noticed that the clouds were parting and moving. Areas of the landscape were being illuminated while other areas were in shadow. I selected the area that I wanted to be in the beautiful light and waited. When the light reached the area, I clicked the shutter and I had my image. I was looking to light the area in the foreground of the image but a bonus for me was that the light also lit several other areas.
Due to the nature of the light I entitled the image “Patches of Light”. Remember to find great light and your opportuity for creating a great image is increased.