Light glorifies everything. It transforms and ennobles the most commonplace and ordinary subjects. The object is nothing; light is everything.
~ Leonard Misonne
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Print it out and keep it for when you really need it - when you're out shooting!
The quote above, about light, cannot be laid out more effectively another way. Without light, there is no photography and while you can shoot under any lighting conditions, there are certain conditions where you would just want to grab your camera and shoot.
Here are 3 lighting conditions where you need to get a camera and just shoot!
1. Golden And Blue Hour
The golden hour and the blue hour – the time before and after sunset and sunrise can be the right time for landscape, street and portrait photography; in general for any outdoor photography where the subject is backlit or side-lit. The sun is low in the sky and you will be able to see the soft glorious golden light during the golden hour casting some dramatic shadows and giving a boost to textures and patterns on landscapes. The blue hour is when you can look for some soft light to create beautiful landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits.
Image by Snapwire
2. Overcast Days
Although one may miss out on the blue sky and clouds on an overcast day, this is a time when photographers get lucky and can shoot all day long without worrying about harsh light/shadows during the day. The clouds act as natural giant diffusers preventing any harsh shadows and you can capture the rich colors of anything you are planning to photograph. It can be a bit upsetting for landscape photographers, but one can take it easy and photograph the landscape in its typical state at that time.
Image by Free-Photos
3. Natural Window Light
One of the most favorite indoor lighting for portraits or still life photography is the window light and this light can be worked around by placing your subject at different distances away from the window to adjust the intensity of light. You can also use this light in various ways to catch different moods during different times of the day, as the way the light falls varies, when the sun moves across the sky.
Image by CongerDesign
To be honest, there is no such thing called “bad light” and all lighting conditions evoke a certain mood in a photograph if used correctly. Harsh light could be bad for a certain photography situation, but there are elements that can be captured under a harsh midday sun, for example, a certain type of architecture where harsh shadows can add drama and personality to the image.
If you want to take your photography skills to the next level by understanding how light works, be sure to check out Understanding Light by Photzy.