Photography Through the Day
Step out one early morning and document the day as it runs its course. Right from golden morning light to the bright light of noon and the dulcet tones of sundown—here are a few tips that can help you shoot through the day.
The Magic of Morning Light
Morning light is extremely beautiful. Absolutely every possible subject looks stunning when it is bathed in early morning sunlight. At first, the sky starts taking on a tinge of blue at the break of dawn. This is usually around half an hour before sunrise. Even when the sun is up above the horizon, the light is soft and golden, and can be used for a variety of subjects, from portraits and landscapes to natural elements. Mornings are also ideal for shooting wildlife as animal activity is maximum during this time period.
Harsh Light at Noon
Most people say that one should not make pictures in harsh light. However, if you know how to use the characteristics of a particular time of day, there is no real time period that is bad for photography. Even high noon gives you a number of photographic opportunities, if you think out of the box. You should almost always use fill-in flash if you are shooting a portrait at this time. Alternatively, you can ask the subject to move under the shade of a tree or canopy. High noon is also a great time to shoot in narrow lanes that are covered by buildings on both sides since the light is comparatively soft in cramped spaces.
As the Sun Goes Down
As the day comes to an end, the light takes on a soft, warm tone again. While it is similar to what it is early in the morning, evening light tends to be more reddish. This makes the skies more dramatic and can be used to your advantage while shooting sunsets. You can make a subject stand in the frame and shoot his silhouette as well. After the sun goes down, there is still some light in the sky that can make for some great pictures. Experiment with the White Balance setting to make best use of the conditions.
The lights may have gone out, but if you have a tripod, you can continue to do photography well into the night. Set your camera to a slow shutterspeed or use the Night Landscape mode to capture trails of light or moonlit landscapes.
This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Better Photography.Tags: portraits, white balance, Tripod, silhouette, Sunrise, Sky, slow shutterspeed, tree, Landscapes, day, soft, Shade, morning light, harsh, noon, golden, natural elements, fill-in flash, canopy, cramped lanes, reddish, warm tone, dramatic, Dusk, Night Landscape mode, moonlit, light trails