How many times have you been advised to photograph landscapes during the magical golden hour? Golden hour light makes almost anything look great. Consequently, the images come out great, too. However, this doesn’t necessarily imply that you should always wait for the sunrise and sunset to shoot landscapes. Landscape photographer, Nigel Danson shares tips and techniques for getting great landscape photos even in harsh light:
Look for Dappled Light
On cloudy days, wait for clouds to create a pattern of light and shadows on the landscape. Dappled light gives an interesting look to a landscape that would otherwise look flat in midday light. The shot will come out even better if there’s a point of interest, such as a body of or a structure at the spot where the sunlight hits the landscape.
When shooting in harsh light conditions, try accentuating the foreground by including more of it in your frame. You’ve got to be a bit careful with the shadows, which you can use to your advantage to add c0ntrast and depth.
Shadows Are Your Friends
“I think shadows are your friends when you’re shooting in harsher light.”
When light is harsh, there will obviously be hard shadows. Instead of trying to avoid shadows, the key is to embrace them and plan to include shadows to add meaning to your image. You can even try composing with silhouettes to create mystery and add interest.
“Quite often, using shadows is a bit like the dappled light. It’s all about timing, and if you can get the timing right then that can be really powerful.”
If you’ve been religiously taking landscape photos during golden hour, try taking a break from it. Waking up early or working late can get tiring, so try shooting in the midday light.
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