I thought I’d write a quick post today about my favourite time of day to take photographs as I get asked this a lot, and it plays a BIG part in how your photos will look.
More than any other aspect of photography, light has the ability to create atmosphere and amplify emotion in our images, and without doubt it is the single most important element in photography.
Learn to see light, and your photographs will improve dramatically.
There are many different types of light used in photography, and I only use natural light in both my professional and personal work. While it's free and readily available, it changes greatly depending on many variables, including time of day, weather, and your location.
By far my favourite time of day to take photographs is the hour just before and after sunset.
It’s commonly known as ‘the golden hour’, and this magical time of day is when the sun is very low in the sky and the light is soft, glowing and ethereal. It also happens at sunrise, but I'm not an early bird, so that's no use to me! The golden hour can happen at any time of the year, but the window can be short and sometimes you have to work quickly.
So why is it so special? When the sun is very low in the sky, you'll notice that the light is balanced and even, casting a warm luminosity everywhere.
As the sun sets, the entire sky becomes your main light source. The bigger the source of light, the softer it is, so it's very flattering.
Your background will not be too bright, and your image has a good chance of being well balanced in terms of exposure (a nice, even photograph in terms of light, and not overly bright or dark in one area).
You can choose to have the light behind your subject, which can cast a beautiful glow around their heads, or have them facing into the light, because there are fewer hard shadows, and it’s soft enough to mean they won’t squint.
Why not give it a try?! If you’ve got any questions, feel free to drop me a line in the comments :)