Are you one of those asking the question of when is the best time to take pictures outside? In my few years in the photography industry, I have been asked this question a couple of times. My answer has always not resonated well with some photographers.
Here’s the thing, there’s no doubt that lighting is an important element if you desire a great looking photo. But, some people have misunderstood this subject in photography. This post aims to help photographers and whoever cares to learn on the concept of taking pictures outside.
It’s a Matter of Context
The question of what time of the day is best for outdoor photography is best answered according to context. The truth is that any time can be suitable to take outdoor pictures. It all depends on what you want to get from the shot at the end of the day.
I believe that whatever lighting conditions the day brings has its merits. As well as its demerits. Every time of the day can be a fantastic time for photography. There are scenes that are peculiar to different times of the day.
If you read, you will find out the various times of the day for taking pictures outside. And which could be the best time for your particular project.
This is one of the most celebrated time for taking outdoor pictures by photographers. The golden hour here refers to the first hour of light produced after sunrise and that before sunset. This is the perfect time to get a flattering light, because of the absence of the sun in its full force.
The result of shooting during this time is that you get a soft and diffused shadow cast on the face of your subjects. This is usually great for photography. At the same time, a reddish hue effect is produced, and the result is a pleasant and romantic glow. Who wouldn’t love that? Your subjects definitely would!
This is one hour you don’t hear mentioned a lot, as compared to the mention of the golden hour. Still, it can be a very suitable time to take pictures. The blue hour refers to the time just after sunset.
At this time, the sun is somewhat hidden but still allows a little ambient to get to your subject. The result of this is a bluish tone on your photo. One of the effects this gives is that of stillness and peace. You’d be amazed at how gorgeous your photo can be if some of the creativity is employed here.
Mid-Morning and Afternoon
This is an appropriate time for corporate headshots, as it is usually void of romantic glow. During this period, the sun won’t fall over your subject. Thereby eliminating any form of unflattering shadows.
Sunset lighting is usually associated with orange and reddish hues. At this time, the light is usually even and nice off course. A picture taken at this point is sure to be great.
A lot of photographers are going to disagree with me on this, but from experience, I think it has its merits. This time of the day; because of the hard shadows it casts on its subjects, it usually results in a dramatic look. For me, this is not always a bad thing. Plus, its the best time for a high-contrast look.
Come to think of it, there are ways you can even go around minimizing the shadow effects. While this might not be a perfect option for urban landscape and wedding photographs, it could fit into another scene.
On first thought, this won’t be considered any close to the best time for taking pictures outside. But, there is certain kind of shots that a clear day won’t allow you to take. So an unclear atmosphere might be what you need. Plus, you won’t have to worry about harsh shadows.
This condition might provoke some form of creativity in you, like incorporating a reflector or the sky as part of your shot. You’d be amazed at the outcome of your photo.
Taking shots at night is a whole new concept of its own. There’s no substitute for the effects it brings to the table. This is one of the best times to capture your subject and the environments, it cannot be duplicated by artificial lighting.
It is no news that the world tends to be still at night and this stillness gives night time photos an edge over the others. Getting the best out of this period of time might need making use of the manual settings on your camera.
Final Thoughts On When’s The Best Time to take Pictures Outside?
There you have it. There’s no limit to the best time to take pictures outside. Indeed, lighting is essential in the world of photography. As a matter of fact, it is a major determinant of the outcome of any photograph.
A major concern with taking pictures outside has always been having control over the lighting. This is always not possible. But with the right photography knowledge and skill, you can use its flexibility to your advantage.
But, thinking that light at one time is better than another is not the best way to do about it. There’s always an opportunity in every time of the day. Embrace and take advantage of it.
Don’t be deceived and excused by the time of day or even weather. That shoot may still be possible!
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