PHOTOGRAPHING DURING MIDDAY HAS ITS REWARDS

September 20, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Midday-Photography-Blog-CoverMidday-Photography-Blog-Cover
Never. Ever. Photograph during midday.  Photograph during sunrise or sunset and during the golden hours when the light is soft and warm.  This is what is usually drilled into landscape photographer's minds from the beginning.  And with good reason.  Those times provide beautiful light and make fantastic images with the right subject.  But to say ONLY at those times removes large parts of the days where certain subjects can be captured with light that works just as effective in conveying your story.

I tend to lump midday or bright light photography into two categories and one compositional element: 

1. Postcard images.  Postcard images are those usually taken with nice blue skies and maybe some nice puffy clouds. You get a good sense of what the place looks like if you visited during the day which most people do.  Why do I call them postcard images?  When you go to the next visitors center take a look at the postcards for sale.  At least 50% or more of the postcards are images taken during the day.  Why do you think that is?  Mainly because it represents the location in the way most people see it when they visit.  
2. Black and white.  Photographing during midday creates high contrast images which are great for black and white. 
3. Shadow play.  This compositional element is great for architecture, landscapes or portraits where shadows play a key role in creating your composition.  Works great for both black and white and postcard images.

Let's take a look at some examples of each one.

POSTCARD IMAGES

Below are some images that I would consider "postcard" images.  All images were taken with the sun still well above the horizon.  The first two were taken almost at exactly noon.  The third was taken during the later afternoon. Each one provides a great representation of the location when viewed during daylight hours.

20190905_JMS_NCYatesMill_0122-15720190905_JMS_NCYatesMill_0122-157
20170107_JMS_PilotMnt_006320170107_JMS_PilotMnt_0063Pilot Mountain after the first snow fall of 2017
Silkstone-140805_0013_79Silkstone-140805_0013_79Bodie lighthouse


BLACK AND WHITE

Next are some examples of black and white images taken during the day.  Notice the high contrast you get when photographing during midday.


Silkstone-140329_0598-1865Silkstone-140329_0598-1865Old Sheldon Church ruins, Mar. 29, 2014.
20170804_JMS_Palouse_097320170804_JMS_Palouse_0973

SHADOW PLAY

This compositional element can be used for both black and white and postcard images. Here the difference between the light and dark areas of the image becomes the main composition element.  

20170510_JMS_GMACWS_0043-HDR-17220170510_JMS_GMACWS_0043-HDR-172GMAC building, Winston-Salem, NC
Silkstone-150904_0114Silkstone-150904_0114Old wheel at Bodie State Historical Park

20180629_JMS_Hawaii_061520180629_JMS_Hawaii_0615

Just remember that even though sunrise, sunset and golden hour provide us with some spectacular light you don't have to put away your camera for the rest of the day.  Be sure to look for other opportunities such as postcard or black and white images when the sun is high above the horizon.  I think you will be surprised at some of the images you can capture.  

Do you have another category you think of when photographing during midday?  If so, leave in the comments section below.  Would love to hear what you think.
 

Explore | Compose | Capture | Publish


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