29 Jul 2013

Breaking the Photography Rules Part 1: Go Out in the Midday Sun

One important rule in landscape photography is the one about shooting in the right light; that is, during the golden or magic hour when there's a distinctive soft orangey-pink glow. Out in the midday sun? Oh no, to be avoided at all costs, with that harsh light and brutal shadows; that's just for mad dogs and Englishmen.

Almost all of the landscape images that I see these days are taken during the golden hour and, in spite of spectacular landscapes, I think that they can be a bit boring & samey after a while. My favourite light is when there is an ominous storm brewing in the distance with dramatic clouds and bright sun lighting the foreground, but sometimes I really do like the intensity of piercing blue skies and the severe, flat light that comes in the middle of the day; it is under-rated, in my opinion! I decided to have a look at some of my own photos taken then to try to illustrate my point.

I think it is important to show the landscape in this dramatic midday light once in a while, not just in the same-old dreamy goldenness. The atmosphere is definitely different in the hours in the middle of the day; far more stark and more real. Sometimes the only time you have to shoot is during these hours, so you might as well make the most of it.

Having said all that, of course I play by the rules too, most of the time, but it doesn't hurt to break them once in a while.

See also: Breaking the Rules Part 2: Ignore the Thirds Rule of Composition
                                               Part 3 -Turn it Upside-down!
                                               Part 4 - Shooting Landscapes in Portrait Orientation 
                                               Part 5 - Playing with the Zoom
                                               Part 6 - Shooting Out of Focus


  1. Great Post. I have not been visiting the site recently. Took a visit again and there were some great comments on the site. Excellent post. Keep up the good work.

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