If you are just starting out with photography and you do not have enough money or you are on a budget to buy all the equipment I suggest you learn to use natural light. There are a few key points you need to have in mind and those are: time of the day, weather and camera direction. In this blog post, I will give you a quick overview on some of the pros and cons on specific times of the day.
I would like to start with the so-called “golden hour”. You have probably heard of it, because even many people who are not so much into photography know about it. “Golden hour” is the hour just before sunset and just after sunrise. That time of the day is the time that gives good results and is most desirable for photography, because the shadows are long and not harsh, and everything has a warm glow.
Sunset and sunrise give a special, soft and warm light because the sun illuminates the clouds from below. The contrast is medium, just like in the “golden hour”. Warm colors are not cool as during noon.
Twilight or dawn and dusk is the time half an hour before sunrise or after sunset. The natural lighting will give a calm peaceful mood to your model or nature. I must say that is my preferred time of the day to take pictures, especially horror photography.
Evening and mid-morning sunshine already has noticeable shadows and it appears more three dimensional, while at noon everything will seem more two-dimensional. The lighting does not have a strong exaggerated effect so the photographs may seem ordinary.
Midday sunshine is the worst time to take photographs because the shadows are too harsh, colors are not saturated enough and the contrast is at its highest. There is too much light, and it is just not interesting.
Sun is so unpredictable and the light is constantly changing, all your images will differ slightly and that is the beauty of it. Have you already mastered natural lighting? Or are you still working on it?