The Best Time of Day to Take Pictures Outside

The Best Time of Day to Take Pictures Outside

Do you struggle with trying to take pictures outside? Are you always fighting against the sun or the shadows? Or maybe you just can’t seem to get that perfect shot.

There are a few things to consider when trying to determine the best time of day to take pictures outside:

  • The first is the direction of the sun. If you are taking pictures during the daytime, you want to make sure that the sun is not in your eyes;
  • The second thing to consider is the shadows. If you are taking pictures of people, you don’t want their faces to be shadowed;

A few experts will talk about the different times of day and what works best for each type of photo. So whether you are a professional photographer or just someone who likes to take pictures for fun, this blog post is for you!

What And When Is “Golden Hour” To Shoot Pictures Outside?

There’s a little-known trick to achieving that ideal, fantastic, and flattering lighting in photographs outside. Much of it is due to when the images are taken. The “golden hour” is the period of time before and after the sun sets on a clear day. This is known as one hour before or after the sun rises or sets.

What And When Is “Golden Hour” To Shoot Pictures Outside?

The light is softer and more diffuse during this time, which creates a better environment for pictures. The sun is also lower in the sky, which can result in some interesting shadows.

It’s important to note that the “golden hour” varies depending on where you are in the world. For instance, if you’re shooting in the northern hemisphere, the “golden hour” will occur later in the day than if you were shooting in the southern hemisphere.

The “golden hour” varies depending on the time of day and the weather. It necessitates clear, sunny skies with few to no clouds, as well as a location where the sun can shine through or peek between trees and buildings. Overcast days or heavily shaded locations will give a significantly different aesthetic than golden hour light [1].

1) Warm light

The “golden hour” gets its name from the warm, golden color of the light during this time. This is due to the sun being lower in the sky and its rays having to travel through more atmosphere. The light is also less direct, which creates a softer light.

All of these factors result in a more flattering and pleasant light for pictures. The colors are also richer and more saturated during the “golden hour”.

2) The “golden hour” lighting is ideal for portraits

One of the best times to take outdoor portraits is during the “golden hour”. The flattering light can make anyone look their best. The warm tones are also great for skin tones, making them appear more natural.

The “golden hour” is also a great time to shoot landscapes. The low sun creates long shadows and can add depth and dimension to your shots. The rich colors are beautiful and can really make your images pop.

3) Shooting during the “golden hour” and using lighting patterns

There are a few things to keep in mind when shooting during the “golden hour”:

  • First, the light is constantly changing, so you’ll need to be quick. The best light only lasts for a short period of time;

Shooting during the “golden hour” and using lighting patterns

  • Second, the light is very directional. This means that you’ll need to pay attention to where the sun is in relation to your subject. You can use the sun to create interesting lighting patterns and shadows;
  • Third, the “golden hour” is often a very busy time for photographers. Everyone wants to take advantage of the beautiful light, so you may have to fight for your spot;
  • Finally, don’t forget that the “golden hour” doesn’t last forever. Once the sun sets (or rises), the light will change and you’ll need to adjust your settings accordingly;

The “golden hour” is a great time for pictures because:

  • The light is softer and more diffuse;
  • The sun is lower in the sky;
  • The colors are richer and more saturated;
  • It’s a great time for portraits;
  • The low sun creates long shadows;
  • The rich colors are beautiful;

4) Challenges of shooting during the “golden hour”

It’s true that “golden hour” is the most controlled moment to shoot, but it doesn’t mean it’s a piece of cake (well, you might be walking in a park). It still necessitates an understanding of directional light and attentive composition.

When the subject is too strongly backlit, it may become lost in the shot and a lack of contrast will cause this. If you aren’t metering correctly, strong backlighting might confuse your camera’s light meter, causing underexposure of your subject.

The “golden hour” lighting also creates long shadows. These can be used to your advantage to create interesting compositions and leading lines. However, if you’re not careful, the shadows can overwhelm your subject.

Shooting during the “golden hour” can be a challenge, but it’s worth it for the beautiful light and stunning colors. Just remember to pay attention to the light and composition, and you’ll get amazing shots.

When the sun is still too bright and direct, outdoor light fixtures can be harsh and cause squinting or burning skin color. Consider going inside until the light fades.

While a little bit of lens flare may be acceptable, too much lens flare can occur if bright light enters your camera lens from an angle. This will result in a hazy or entirely out-of-focus image, or colorful artifacts in the photo, especially with entry-level lenses. Using a lens hood and adjusting your shot composition might help prevent this [2].

What is “Blue Hour” in Photography?

Landscape photographers consider the “blue hour” to be one of the most favorable shooting situations, as it is for all types of photographers. The sky will be tinged with cool blue hues during the blue hour [3].

What is “Blue Hour” in Photography?

The background light is mild and diffuse, producing aesthetically pleasing images. In urban areas, the blue hour may be very appealing.

Street lights, buildings, and automobile headlights all contribute to the visual beauty of photography.

Sunrise and Morning Portraits

Sunrise and sunset are sometimes regarded as the same, but there are several important distinctions between them.

As the earth rotates beneath us, the heat is gradually drawn away from the planet. When all of the light has vanished from above, the ground cools and darkness enfolds us. The atmosphere becomes humid as moisture condenses on the surface and may form dew or even ice in some cases.

For many people, the morning is the best time of day. The air is fresh and invigorating, and the sun is just beginning to warm things up.

If you’re planning on taking pictures of people outdoors, sunrise or morning portraits are a great option. The light is softer and more flattering at this time of day.

People are generally more relaxed in the morning, too. They haven’t been bombarded with work tasks or errands yet, so they’re more likely to be in a good mood for photos.

Before the sun warms the ground and this moisture evaporates, there is a brief period before sunrise when condensation may be captured reflecting in the new light, like gems sparkling in the distance.

The time of day may also have an impact on the amount of sky you include in an outdoor shot. Because the earth has not yet been sufficiently heated by the sun in the morning, clouds struggle to form. It’s this ascent of air that leads to the formation of clouds in the sky [4].

Sunrise and Morning Portraits

Shooting in the Middle of the Day

The middle of the day is when the sun is highest in the sky, and it casts harsh, direct light. This can be great for certain types of photos, like sports photography.

But if you’re looking to take softer, more flattering portraits or landscape shots, midday probably isn’t the best time. The light can be too harsh and create deep shadows on people’s faces. It can also make colors appear washed out in landscapes.

If you do decide to shoot in the middle of the day, try using a reflector to bounce some light back onto your subject and soften the shadows. Or experiment with shooting in partial shade to see if you can find a balance between direct and indirect light that works for your purposes.

Photographing in Evening Light

As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, the quality of light changes once again. This is often referred to as the “golden hour” because of the warm, golden hues that are cast on everything in sight.

The “golden hour” is a favorite among photographers because it’s such a beautiful time of day. The light is soft and warm, and it can make even mundane subjects look magical.

If you’re shooting portraits, the “golden hour” is an ideal time. The light will be flattering and romantic, and your subjects will probably be in a good mood after a long day.

Just like with sunrise shots, the position of the sun can affect how much sky you include in your frame. In general, you’ll want to avoid having the sun directly in your shot. But if you’re planning on including a lot of skies, evening light can be a great time to shoot.

As the sun sets, the colors in the sky change and intensify. If you want to capture this beautiful light, make sure you have your camera ready to go well before the sun actually sets.

Twilight and Night Photos

As the night draws near and the sun’s direct illumination begins to fade, we’re greeted with the “blue hour” moment, when while the scene is still affected by ambient light as it bounces across the atmosphere, the sun’s direct light has vanished.

The entire area is now in shade, so it has a lower color temperature (measured in Kelvins) and appears bluer.

Twilight and Night Photos

When the light gets low, it’s a good idea to adjust camera settings to compensate. A shallower depth of field can be achieved by using a larger aperture, which will brighten the image. If the depth of field needs to be kept constant, we may adjust the ISO sensitivity or shutter speed to lighten the exposure.

The higher the ISO sensitivity is set, the more image noise will be produced, so we want to keep it as low as possible.

If you need to use a faster shutter speed, experts may need to use a tripod to stabilize the camera and prevent blurring.

With long exposures in low light, it’s also important to be aware of camera shake. This can be caused by simply pressing the shutter button, so consider using a remote shutter release or self-timer to avoid this issue.

A longer shutter speed exposes the image sensor to light for a longer period of time.

If the shutter speed is too lengthy, unwanted blur can enter in on account of camera shake blurs (if shooting handheld) or subject blur, when the subject moves during the exposure.

However, by capturing motion deliberately, such as traffic lines or intentional camera movement when combined with a burst of flash to freeze the subject in the foreground, we may take advantage of this [5].

FAQ

What if I have to shoot photos mid-day?

The light is usually harshest around noon, so if you can avoid shooting then, do. If you can’t, look for shady areas to place your subject in order to avoid harsh shadows on their face. You might also consider using a reflector to bounce some light back onto your subject’s face.

If you’re stuck taking pictures during the middle of the day, try to find shady areas to take advantage of softer lighting. Alternatively, use a reflector to bounce light back onto your subject’s face. This will help fill in any harsh shadows that might be present.

What’s the best time to take pictures outside in summer and spring?

Early morning and late afternoon are still the best times to take pictures, but you have a little more wiggle room in summer and spring. The sun rises earlier and sets later, so you can get away with shooting a little later in the day. Just make sure to avoid the harsh midday light!

In general, the best time of day to take pictures outside is early morning or late afternoon. However, during the summer and spring months, you have a bit more flexibility since the sun rises earlier and sets later. Just be careful to avoid taking pictures during the harsh midday light!

If you’re shooting outdoors during summer or spring, try to stick to the early morning or late afternoon hours. This will help avoid harsh shadows from the midday sun.

What’s the best time to shoot outside during the fall season?

The ideal time to shoot outside during the fall season is first light. Sunrise provides good lighting for fall hues. In addition, the cold nights produce early morning mist, which is excellent for photographs. You may produce a beautiful composition out of fog over water or dense vapor swirling in the air [6].

What’s the best time to take portraits outside?

The “golden hour” is the best time to snap photos outside, which is between sunrise and sunset. You may still produce lovely photographs at other times.

What is overcast lighting?

The overcast lighting is when the sky is mostly covered in clouds, diffusing the sunlight and creating a softer light. This type of lighting is great for portraits because it eliminates harsh shadows and can make your subject look more flattering [7].

Useful Video: Photography Lighting Outdoor – The Best Time of the Day to Shoot Outdoor Portraits

References:

  1. https://www.photographygoals.com/best-time-of-day-for-outdoor-portraits/
  2. https://www.photographygoals.com/best-time-of-day-for-outdoor-portraits/
  3. https://pixelsandwanderlust.com/best-time-for-outdoor-photography/
  4. https://petapixel.com/best-time-of-day-take-outdoor-portrait-photos-natural-light/
  5. https://petapixel.com/best-time-of-day-take-outdoor-portrait-photos-natural-light/
  6. https://pixelsandwanderlust.com/best-time-for-outdoor-photography/
  7. http://lighting.bensasso.com/overcast-light