Adapting to weather and time of the day

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Have you ever been in the position where you are in the mood take some photos right now? You look outside and the weather is overcast and the sun is nowhere to be found. Take heart you don’t always need the sun. Here’s why.

 

rose

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Many people believe that if there is no sun, then there isn’t an opportunity for good photography. So during the winter months and overcast summer or spring days they have to find another hobby, or so they think. That’s not true and I’ll show you why.

 

garden_of_the_gods in the rocky mountains

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1. Shooting outdoors on overcast days
If you have never tried it then go out and do it. You will be surprised at the photos you take. Why? Because the clouds act as one big filter resulting in a soft and even light. The harsh shadow you sometimes see in your sunny day images is just not there. There is no glare in the subject’s eyes and it can look as if the photo has been taken by a professional.

Check that your white balance is set to cloudy if you aren’t shooting on automatic. Although you get really good photos on a cloudy day, it is more suited for smaller scenes, close-ups and portraits.

 

Burano with its colorful houses

for more photos of Burano/Venice, click here

2. Sunny days
Bright sunny days are not always the best time to take good photos. Too much bright light can be a bad thing so you need to know what time of day is best. When it’s sunny you’d probably find that around midday is not the best time to shoot any images. The lighting is directly from above and very harsh.

Shadows fall below the eyes in a portrait and can result in an ugly image. Unless you are looking for very specific lighting effects for buildings and similar subjects, don’t shoot between 11AM and 1PM.

Early to mid-morning and late afternoon are the best times for shooting on sunny days. Lighting is from the side, the contrast is great and the atmosphere created by light that is more golden is amazing.

Besides shooting sunsets and sunrise virtually any type of image will look great. A key here is to use bright shadow, like under high trees, for portraits and other people shots. It gives the same effect as a cloudy day.

 

Studio shot

 

3. Shooting indoors
There is no bad time when shooting indoors as you always have control of the light when using flash or strobes. But, flash is not the greatest light to shoot by even if you do have total control. Using available natural light will always give you a great image. So what’s the best way? Find a place inside that has a large window which allows a good amount of light to enter the room.

Place your subject in the area where most of this light falls. If you find that the opposite side of the subject is too dark, use a reflector which can be a large piece of card, a white board or a sheet draped just outside the view of the camera lens. Experiment to find the best subject placement. Sometimes the darker side of the image will make the overall image really stunning.

 

Emily

 

So, there is always a time to take an image and key to this is make the best possible use of available light. You may not be able to shoot the image you have in mind but you’ll still be able to create an image that is stunning. You won’t necessarily get it right the first time but be prepared to experiment and try different placements and angles and I can assure you that you will come up with something that great.

As always, have fun and enjoy! 🙂

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