Photographers Don’t Shoot In The Middle Of The Day


I’m going to say it again. Are you like me trying to find a photograph to fit this latest theme? Summer Lovin, what’s that all about? Personally I hate summer for photography because the sun is shining brightly.

Teachers don’t work in the summer, and photographers don’t shoot in the middle of the day. – John Loengard

When I look at many of my landscape photographs I realise that the best ones are those which I have taken as the sun is setting. In the summertime the sun is overhead and the light is harsh, providing little contrast. between the shadow areas and the highlights.

The Ruin

In both of these photographs I can try to compensate by getting some good foreground interest and luckily the skies add some interest , but there’s no real shadows or contrast and everything looks kind of flat.

The Peak

Compare that to the sunset below where the highlights and shadows on the rocks nd the low setting sun casts a warm glow over the clouds and the sea

Sunset at Harlech

So, Summer Loving, not in the heat of the day, give me a sunset anytime. Do you agree?

19 thoughts on “Photographers Don’t Shoot In The Middle Of The Day

  1. stephenransome July 30, 2014 / 20:51

    Hi Mike. Sunsets are very nice, but full light certainly gives something to some shots. Depends on what you are shooting I reckon. For instance, I take birdie shots with a 400mm prime lens, for that I need good light to get the detail. Mind you, I have seen some nice silhouette shots taken at sunset. of a bird.

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    • Mike Hardisty July 30, 2014 / 21:41

      I’ve been analysing my landscapes and have definetly come to the conclusion that sunsets or cloudy days give best results. But I agree Steve. For you bright sunlight is best.

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  2. wanderingcows July 30, 2014 / 21:02

    I agree. I don’t tend to shoot outside in the middle of the day, especially when it’s sunny. Sometimes it can’t be helped though, when you want to record a moment.

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    • Mike Hardisty July 30, 2014 / 21:42

      Middle of the day is more convenient but I’m trying to go out more in the early evening as the light changes

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  3. Pix Under the Oaks July 30, 2014 / 21:44

    Can I just say that I learn so much here… Thank you! I do agree that the harsh light of summer in the middle of the day is no fun..🙂 I love evening light. I am an amateur picture taker.

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    • Mike Hardisty July 30, 2014 / 21:47

      I’m an amateur as well but with a good few years experience. Thank you for visiting and commenting and I’m glad you’re getting something from this post.

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  4. petspeopleandlife July 30, 2014 / 22:44

    Absolutely agree with the time of day. Sunset or sunrise are the best times of the day for tonal and contrast quality. The sunset pic is wonderful.

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    • Mike Hardisty July 31, 2014 / 07:44

      Thanks Yvonne. I’m really going to try and get out more at these times but my wife worries about me being out in the mountains when it’s getting dark

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dtmateojr July 31, 2014 / 00:43

    It’s quite funny that a lot of “togs” buy full frame and fast lenses yet shoot in broad daylight🙂 The irony.

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    • Mike Hardisty July 31, 2014 / 07:47

      Never had a full frame and until recently never had a really fast lens

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      • dtmateojr July 31, 2014 / 08:04

        That’s what I like with landscape. Even the cheapest equipment can produce fastastic shots🙂

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  6. kmoser56 July 31, 2014 / 10:16

    I remember visiting the National Arches Park in Utah, the sun just wasn’t going to come out of those afternoon clouds. As we rolled away at the end of the day, all of a sudden there it was, bright red and on the rock! Oh man! I managed to grab a quick landscape shot, but learned a lesson about hanging out and planning the shot, too. And, I will go back!

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    • Mike Hardisty July 31, 2014 / 21:12

      Just had the same thing happen to me. Been out all day with someone else. Weather not great. Come late afternoon as we’re driving home across one of the mountain passes sun comes out and bathes everything in a nice golden glow, but we can’t stop. We’re on a single track road and there’s another car not far behind us

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  7. Andrew July 31, 2014 / 10:48

    I also prefer soft light but you can get some great light & shadow effects in harsh light. And you could try converting to B&W too. I feel you can been more robust in processing.

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  8. theresagreen August 3, 2014 / 23:21

    The sunset is beautiful, but then so are the mountains and they are a true record of how and when you witnessed the scenes….

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  9. Mike Hardisty August 4, 2014 / 08:46

    I just find Theresa, that my best photographs are the ones I shoot in the late afternoon or early evening….

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