How to Take Advantage of the Sweet Light in Landscape Photography

Anyone that lives in California knows that November is the prime month for great sunsets on the Central Coast. The sun is in just the right place in these rugged locations. It reflects on the beaches, as it dances off the Pacific in the late afternoon glow and fades to dark.

In much the same way, Iceland offers the best opportunities for some of the rarest light on the planet. 

This includes not only the Northern Lights of the Aurora but expansive waterfalls, geothermal formations, unusual morning light and much more!

In today’s blog, we wanted to feature 2 of our most exciting workshops when it comes to great light opportunities. The California Central Coast and Iceland. The time is perfect for both of these locations and here are some of the reasons you need to go there.

Landscape photography has always been a delicate balance of being in the right place, at the right time, for the best light.

We strive for all of this in our workshops. But these two workshops are a bit more focused, simply because their time frames provide you the possibility for beautiful color in the sky, both morning and evening.

Mother Nature has never made things simple for the landscape photographer.

You can’t play this game unless you’re a patient person and have a solid understanding of nature’s elements and how to function creatively within it. More directly, you don’t want to be scrambling around in a panic trying to find something to build your composition when an amazing sky is happening.

The only thing we have as landscape photographers is our experience with Mother Nature. We need to work within her realm and have an understanding of her rhythms.

Each location can certainly produce good images anytime of year. But this depends on what’s on your bucket list. Color is always great in landscapes and can be unpredictable. But you can give yourself an edge.

Fall on the California Coast is great for building stellar landscapes with beautiful foreground locations.

The Central Coast has consistently produced some of the best sunset light opportunities for our photography workshop clients over the years. This is simply because we’re well past the Fall Equinox and with luck, there will be a good display of clouds. This time of year produces deep shadows that define your landscape compositions, along with more colorful sunsets. The lower angle of sunlight dances off the atmosphere reacting to any suspended particles of dust trapped within. This produces the best opportunities to photograph color in the sky.

Alternatively, Iceland in February has always given us the sweet low light with unusual morning cloud colors. I’ve never seen this phenomenon anywhere else in my travels. I was quite taken with this, the first time I saw it. I guess that’s why we always return this time of year.

With all this, there is also a chance of experiencing the Aurora Borealis, as it seems to generate weird electricity when you experience it.

Don’t Miss These Photography Expeditions!

If you’re new to landscape photography and not familiar with the natural terrain, do your research before heading out.

Or you can relax and hire a qualified guide with experience to lead you safely to amazing locations and offer tips and instruction by your side. We can help you get the shots you’re expecting to find, at the best locations, for the best light Mother Nature has to offer.

Join us on one of our workshops on the Central Coast, CA or Big Sur this fall or in Iceland this winter.

We will show you how to get the shot at the right place, at the right time in the best light!

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If you like this blog, consider checking out our other articles on a similar topic:

Yosemite Valley and Iceland: Lands of Great Light!

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Mark’s interest in photography and love for landscape photography draws him into some amazing places and he freely shares this knowledge on his photography workshops. He researches his subjects extensively, making many trips to selected areas waiting for the perfect light, an interesting approach to the subject, and just the right moment. His goal of "freezing time for others to enjoy" is what drives him to create his visions and teach workshops.

Mark offers photographic workshops in numerous U.S. and International locations with his business, Jansen Photo Expeditions. He is an expert and personable instructor, expedition leader and award winning, visionary photographer. 

Mark has over 25 years of professional fine art and photographic experience. He has a passion for landscape and classic aviation photography and provides large scale commercial installations of his fine art photographic murals and print works throughout California. He works with both small and large corporate businesses in helping them project a powerful impact through his images.


About Mark and Holly
Mark and Holly Jansen
Jansen Photo Expeditions
(805) 701-8807 or


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