The golden rule in photography is that the best photographs are created during the golden hour. As a traveling photographer, I know that opportunities don’t only arrive during those hours of beautiful golden light.
Read more: Landscape Photography: 10 Essential Tips
What is a photographer to do when she finds herself at an epic location at a time other than golden hour? The key is to harness the benefits that all types of lighting provide in your photographs.
Sidelight creates dimension allowing your viewers to feel that they are a part of the scene. Sidelight reveals shadows and highlights creating a three dimensional illusion in a photograph.
The stronger the sidelight, the more details are revealed, preventing your landscape from looking flat.
Shoot into the sun to create drama and flare. Long ago considered a flaw in photography, flare is now intentionally created and a staple in many photographer’s portfolios. You create that flare by adjusting your aperture.
By shooting into the sun and angling your camera lens, you can create a beautiful intentional flare to add drama, visual interest, and a sense of warmth to your images.
Shoot on the edges of the day. Many aspiring landscape photographers plan their shoots around the time of the sunrise or sunset, not accounting for the possibilities that lie ahead or behind those events.
Always plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early and stay 30 minutes late. During that time, the sky may light up in magical colors, creating a scene even better than the sunrise or sunset itself.
Front light emphasizes colors and texture. Shooting with the sun behind you allows you to enhance the richness of a scene, bringing colors and clouds to life.
Overcast days create mood and drama. Many landscape photographers shy away from overcast days, choosing instead to stay inside waiting for a sunny day. Use overcast and rainy days to enhance already interesting scenery.
Don’t be afraid to use artificial light. Night scenes create beautiful images allowing a different view of a popular location. Be sure to use a tripod to allow the necessary shutter speed in night settings.