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Photography How-To: Light . . . Early, Late and In-Between

Early and late light, yes, but also make the most of the light that changeable weather brings



Perhaps I have chosen a confusing title for this article
, so please let me explain . . .

The issue is this, i.e. one can get out for the early light or snooze a while longer and go and shoot 'later'. Conversely, moving to late in the day, one can shoot 'earlier' or shoot until late. This could be until the sun is behind the horizon, or until the twilight has nodded off.

This has come to be known on my photo tours as 'shooting in available darkness', and is just so much easier to do in this digital age.

Obviously, one doesn't always have the opportunity to be at a particular spot at the best time, but if you do it's worth the effort. For instance, this first image was taken at around 10 a.m. . . .

Mount Hood, Oregon

. . . . and this one below at the same spot was shot at sunset . . .

Mount Hood, Oregon

I would say they're both nice on the eye in their own right, but for me, the earlier or later light is always going to be the most pleasing . . . if the opportunity is there of course.

The suggestion here then is to make the extra effort. Yes, it's difficult to 'discipline' yourself when traveling alone, so why not try a photography tour such as ours? [end of commercial!]

I'd like to add that  the in-between daylight period shooting need not be the end of the world, as the first image of Mount Hood can attest to. Neither in all practical terms is it ever 'too bright' for photography as some may opine . . . one can always turn macro photography if the lighting for landscapes isn't to your liking.

Bring on the weather
Changing weather patterns often 'paint' the landscape with light and shade as happened with this next image below taken right at midday . . .

Jenne Farm, Vermont: Midday

Jenne Farm, Vermont: Soft light and fog at dawn

The main point to be made is, yes, early and late is always going to be the better light, but don't rule out the weather factor! Fog, storm clouds and subsequent rays of sunlight can turn a scene at any time of day into something very special . . .

Glen Coe, Scotland

Mourne mountains, County Down, Northern Ireland. Similar scene pictured on the labels of Kirkland's Bailey Irish Cram bottles.

Connemara mountains, County Galway, Ireland

Dunnottar Castle in Scotland: After sunset and sunrise delivered overcast light, we got this light at mid-morning. Just goes to show!

Now then, do you still think that dramatic light is a forlorn hope in the hours that lie between sunrise and sunset?! 

Remember that whatever you photograph, the end result is limited only by your imagination!



Written and photographed by John Baker, Photographer/Guide, Travel Images Photography Tours

All images and text are strictly copyrighted by John Baker Photographer LLC/Travel Images Photography Tours, 1988 - 2024.

Permission in writing must be sought for any form of reproduction.


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