Great Light for Dramatic Landscape Photos

by Kerry Drager

Clearing Storm in Winter
Clearing Storm in Winter
© Jim Miotke
All Rights Reserved
(Note: This article is adapted from "The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Light" - co-authored by Jim Miotke and Kerry Drager.)

Dramatic light is frequently the byproduct of dramatic weather. Your photographs will benefit greatly if you become weatherwise and work at the weather’s edge. This doesn’t mean trying to navigate a rain- or snowstorm. But it does mean being ready to dash out when the storm starts to break up and beams of light start to burst through the clouds in a dazzling way.

Watch for clouds casting shadows as they move across the landscape to provide depth, pattern, and texture. If all goes well, you’ll be treated to wonderful dancing light shot against a dark and imposing sky. Perhaps you’ll see the sun-versus-storm ultimate: a rainbow.

Coastal Rainbow - After Summer Storm
Coastal Rainbow - After Summer Storm
© Kerry Drager
All Rights Reserved

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About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Kerry Drager
Photography Instructor: Kerry Drager
Kerry Drager is a professional photographer, teacher and writer who is also the co-author of two books: The BetterPhoto Guide to Creative Digital Photography and The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Light. He has taught many photography courses (online and in person), seminars and field workshops.

Be sure to check out Kerry's website -

Also, he is the author of Scenic Photography 101, the photographer of the photo-essay books The Golden Dream: California from Gold Rush to Statehood and California Desert , a contributor to the books BetterPhoto Basics and Daybreak 2000, and a co-photographer of Portrait of California. In addition, Kerry was profiled in the April 1994 issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine and in Vik Orenstein's 2010 book The Photographer's Market Guide to Building Your Photography Business, and his website was showcased in the January 2003 issue of Shutterbug magazine. Plus, his work has appeared in magazines, Hallmark cards and Sierra Club calendars, and in advertising campaigns for American Express and Sinar Bron Imaging.

Also follow Kerry on Facebook, where he posts photos several times a week that include shooting tips and thoughts.

Kerry lives with his wife, Mary, on California's Central Coast, with their three Newfoundland dogs, four cats, and a mixed terrier.