Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Golden Rule of Landscape Photography

landscape photography
Photo by: Jeff S. PhotoArt

If there is one single trick that will vastly improve your landscape photography skills then this is it. Follow the golden rule of landscape photography and get amazing results every single time. You’ll be wondering what this golden rule is.

The golden rule of landscape photography states that landscapes should only be shot during two times in a day.

One is from an hour before sunrise to up to an hour after it. Second is an hour before sunset till the sky goes completely black which will be an hour or two from sunset.

landscape photography tips
Photo by: Jeff S. PhotoArt

It is no surprise that these times of the day are called the golden hours. Why golden hour? Because the light during these times have a slightly golden tint to it, it occurs because the sun is at an angle to the earth during these hours and so sun’s rays need to travel farther through the atmosphere to reach the earth’s surface. As a result shorter wave lengths are filtered out and more of the longer wave lengths come through.  Read Wave Lengths and Colours for more on this.

Quality of Light during Golden Hours

landscape photography tutorial
Photo by: Jeff S. PhotoArt

Sunlight during midday is very harsh producing harsh unpleasant shadows, but during golden hours the light falls at an angle to the earth producing longer shadows, also majority of light reaches the earth by being reflected back by the clouds above and these clouds act as a giant diffuser, producing soft light that causes soft shadows that give professional quality lighting for landscapes.  Read more on Quality of Light.

How strict is this rule?

landscape photography technique
Photo by: Jeff S. PhotoArt

Well most professional landscape photographers only shoot at those two times of day, and if what you want is a professional touch in your landscape pictures, you should also be shooting only during these times too. The only exception to this rule is when shooting on overcast days when the lighting is quite soft even during midday.

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