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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Sunshine vs overcast
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06/05/2004 09:57:33 PM · #1
I always prefer to go out and take photos when it is full sunshine, which being where I live is most of the time and blistering hot.

This morning I decided not to head out for the day with the camera as it is grey and very overcast.

Then I got thinking .....

Where the sun is intense is full sunshine the best way to go? I always have problems with very (relative to the non shadow areas) dark shadows indeed. The metering has to cope with both extremes of light (or lack there of).

So, my question is ....

Am I right to prefer the nich bright days? or would it serve me better to look for the overcast days, when the ambient light is not so intense.

Any help peoples?
06/05/2004 10:05:21 PM · #2
Im always attracted to sunsets here...i guess i like the dull warm colors that it casts. but at the same time, i love the bright, middle of the day light, and i really think it ought to be captured. i like how it creates sharper angles and excentuates the lines of especially buildings...but at the same time, i guess you really lose a lot of the depth that comes from the shadows...

it seems to me, that it just depends on what youre attracted to, and what kind of photos you prefer. i like em both.
06/05/2004 10:05:33 PM · #3
Overcast days are good for shooting low contrast type shots. Some shots beg for this treatment. Very sunny days are very contrasty and you have to deal with harsh lighting and very dark shadows. This can be overcome with bracketing and post processing in some instances. The best time to get good shots that have good contrasts and good balance is the first couple of hours after sunrise and the first couple of hours before sunset!
06/05/2004 10:13:29 PM · #4
Originally posted by TooCool:

Overcast days are good for shooting low contrast type shots. Some shots beg for this treatment. Very sunny days are very contrasty and you have to deal with harsh lighting and very dark shadows. This can be overcome with bracketing and post processing in some instances. The best time to get good shots that have good contrasts and good balance is the first couple of hours after sunrise and the first couple of hours before sunset!


Yup, that's exactly what I mean.

But can you therefore make use of an overcast day simply for the lack of contrast when needed? I'm talking during the day here, rather than sunrise/sunset shots.

As for your "couple of hours after sunrise" comment ..... I'm not sure it's legal to be up and about that early where I live ... or at least that's the excuse I am sticking to!
06/05/2004 10:18:30 PM · #5
Originally posted by Natator:

But can you therefore make use of an overcast day simply for the lack of contrast when needed? I'm talking during the day here, rather than sunrise/sunset shots.


Yes. I've done it a couple of times!

Originally posted by Natator:

As for your "couple of hours after sunrise" comment ..... I'm not sure it's legal to be up and about that early where I live ... or at least that's the excuse I am sticking to!


I don't go to that extreme, but haven't gotten a whole lot of early morning shots myself...

Message edited by author 2004-06-05 22:19:51.
06/06/2004 12:00:33 AM · #6
I prefer overcast days or early morning and/or late evening. In bright midday sun you're going to have harsh light with strong shadows. That can be a good thing for certain subjects, but for others it isnt so good. I guess decide on what you're going to shoot and appropriately pick a time of day that will give you the best results.
06/06/2004 12:09:38 AM · #7
i read in a Southern Living magazine that their staff photographers usually put their cameras away between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. unless it's an overcast day. i guess it depends on what you're shooting, but i always prefer the light in the late afternoon or early morning.
06/06/2004 01:27:02 AM · #8
I suppose that it depends on what I'm shooting. I don't usually wake up early enough to catch the whole morning thing. But having said that, my favourite time for shooting is from about 3pm onwards, depending on the season of course. Although, I have a number of beach and snow shots that have been taken towards the middle of the day.. that are pretty good. But honestly.. when the sun is right above, the shadows tend to fall straight down and sap pictures from a lot of their interesting elements.. just a little angle on a shadow goes a long way. The best shots I've had are all a result of interesting and unusual lighting conditions.. :D I hope that helps..

Just keep in mind that it also depends greatly on the subject that your shooting.
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