Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Myth of Shooting at Mid Day

The 'Golden' hour of shooting, right before sunset or right after sunrise; the time when outdoor light is said to be at it's best; the only time you may have been told by an instructor that you will want to shoot landscapes or even portraits outdoors, right? Do not get me wrong, that light is great but it doesn't last very long and it can get the kaibash instantly with just one cloud. You really have to be exactly where you want to be and ready to shoot. The fact of the matter is that you can shoot your subjects outdoors all day long – even while the sun is shining high above. Don't forget too that clouds are also great and bring a unique character that cannot be replicated naturally.

Skinning around Aspen Colorado
As for portrait work try placing your subjects in shaded natural structures (silhouette) like in between cliff walls, near water, under trees or even man-made objects like between buildings, in or around automobiles or near shiny or light-colored walls or other reflective surfaces. Use your surroundings, they're often free and uniquely original. Your subject can also block the direct sunlight giving them a star like quality. You might consider using either on or off-camera fill flash depending on your desired effect to further enhance your creation.

Steamboat Springs Cowboy Downhill
Just like some midday portrait work landscapes can be done with similar concepts. Great puffies (clouds), deep shadowed silhouettes and strong contrasts can be utilized in high noon landscapes. Just don't forget your polarizer. This one filter is my favorite old school tool that is always in my camera bag even for some portraits.

Palmyra Peak Telluride Colorado
Don't limit yourself to the dawn or the dusk, think outside the globe. Notice other artists work, break it down and try to figure out how they used their light sources whether natural or artificial but have fun. Whatever the case realize that you have several hours of midday light on a sunny day to move around and MAKE that great image to your liking as opposed to the "Golden hour" which isn't even really an hour after all.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome images! I 100% agree with this and took away some great advice. Thanks! And, I need to come up to Steamboat Springs, it's so beautiful there! Nice work Corey!