If you are looking for a way to enhance your photography, considering the time of the day can have a dramatic impact on your pictures. In this article I will explain how the the quality of light changes over the course of a day. Knowing about the impact of light and considering the corresponding time of the day is an important step on the way to create better photos. Let me show you via a set of pictures that were all taken at the same location, on the same day, but six hours apart.
The quality of light has a huge impact on the atmosphere of our pictures. From the warm morning light, to harsh shadows and colder light around noon we circle back to warm and golden light for sunset. All this is visible in photos. The difference between working during the day or at golden hour can help you to take your photos to the next level.
Taking Pictures Around Noon
Let me introduce you to our location. I stopped at a random street in a nearby neigborhood. The first time I went was around noon when the light is harsh and pictures look unexciting. That translated into the following snapshot. Even though I used shadows as leading lines, there’s nothing exciting about this picture at all.
The next picture was shot with my dslr combined with Lensbaby Sweet 50 lens. Sure, that creates a little more artsy look, but again, nothing that makes you look twice.
Here I changed my vantage point and used the Lensbaby effect to my advantage. At least we see now beautiful bokeh in the tree:
Finally I tried a close up of weeds in the street:
As you can see in this set of pictures, the results are ok, but not outstanding. Colors look cold and washed out. Some areas in the photos are completely blown out and show no details. I decided to go back home, take a break and come back for sunset.
Taking Pictures Around Golden Hour
When I came back an hour before sunset the whole scene had changed significantly. The setting sun created warm tones and added magic to the pictures. Only by changing the time of day this was shot at, you can notice a huge change, even without being an experienced photographer.
Did these examples give you an idea of how the time of the day can dramatically affect the esthetics of your photos? What’s your favorite time of the day to take pictures?