Quality of light plays an important role in every photography genre.
If you know how to use and manipulate it, you’ll be able to find the best quality light for the day. And take incredible photos whenever you want.
What Is Quality of Light?
Quality light will help you take the best possible photos of your subject. Your goal should be to find your ideal version of it.
To make this process easier, write down your favorite atmospheres and types of light. If you like softness, you’ll love shooting in the shade on a sunny day. If you enjoy bringing out textures, you’ll find direct light very useful.
Another important thing to consider is your preferred subject. Harsh light doesn’t always work well in portrait photography. And soft light might not enhance textures as much you’d like.
If used correctly, midday light can become your favourite type of quality light.
Use Harsh Light to Bring out Textures
When the sun is right above your subject, it will create very rough shadows everywhere. This will emphasize textures and make your photos look gritty.
You can use this to document the harshness of a location. Or to emphasize a model’s strength and make textures stand out more.
Use a Polarising Filter to Avoid Overexposure
You might find it difficult to expose your photos at midday. Especially if some of your subjects are in the shade and others aren’t.
If you manually adjust your exposure, you’ll end up with photos that are too overexposed or underexposed. This will also make the editing process more challenging than it should be.
To avoid this, use a polarising filter to darken skies and other bright parts of your composition.
In addition to darkening skies, a polarising filter will enhance colors and get rid of distracting glares.
Take Photos in the Shade to Create an Extra Glow
One of the advantages of shooting at noon is getting a lot of surrounding light. As long as your subject is in a shaded area, you can take amazing, well-lit photos of them.
The surrounding light will cast an even amount of light on your subject. If you’re working with models, the light will create a sparkle in their eyes. This will all result in flattering photos made with the best quality light possible.
Take photos under trees, umbrellas, or sun hats.
Shoot Indoors to Work With Soft Light
Indoor photography can be dark and unpleasant if there isn’t enough available light. When it’s very bright outside, you can use it to create soft and dreamy photos.
If there are too many shadows, use a reflector. It will add an extra boost of light to your subject’s face or body.
What to Do on Cloudy Days
Even if they seem like creativity-destroyers, clouds can greatly enhance your photos.
Cloudy days are ideal for bright outdoor photography. The lack of harsh light can help you take well-lit photos of any subject, be it a landscape or a flower.
Make sure you shoot in an open space. Since the light is limited, you won’t have a lot of surrounding light to work with. You should avoid shades and crowded places.
The best places to shoot are fields and beaches.
Use Backlight to Create Ethereal Photos
Take photos of your model while they’re standing in front of the sun. If you underexpose, you’ll create a silhouette. If you slightly overexpose, you’ll get a bright photo that’s perfect for ethereal photoshoots.
Backlight also creates sun flares and rainbow lens flares. Both of these are great for dreamy portrait photography.
Use Direct Light to Enhance a Landscape
Direct golden hour light won’t bring out textures as roughly as midday light.
Thanks to the soft glow, it casts an even amount of light on everything it touches. This makes it the perfect tool for breathtaking landscapes like the one above.
You can use direct light to take eye-catching portraits, landscape photos, and closeups.
Right before the sun rises and after it sets, you can work with a very different kind of light: blue hour light.
The blue hour lasts for around 20-30 minutes and creates a magical blue atmosphere.
Because it’s not as bright as golden hour light, make sure you shoot in open areas.
There are many different kinds of light that will make your photos even better. Some will work best for wedding photographers, others for landscape enthusiasts, and so on.
The trick is to experiment with different times of day, angles, and tools.