When to Shoot?

So many factors govern lighting so to make any hard and fast rules about the best time to take photographs would be a meaningless discussion, location and local weather conditions all affect the quality, strength, direction and colour of light. The environment in which you live will offer varying photographic opportunities depending on the prevailing weather conditions. For example, a gentle mist and low-lying cloud may provide the perfect conditions for certain rural landscapes but they would do absolutely nothing for a city shot. Living close to the wonderful city of Bath, provides some fabulous opportunities for city photos however as we are on the somerset border we also have the opportunity to take some amazing landscape images.

Obviously when shooting a wedding, you have to be well switched on and go with the light that is available, you cant tell the newly weds to return when the lighting is more acceptable or more to your preferred lighting, you as the professional photographer has to find the light and if needs be add light with flash or lighting systems, of course, if you have the time to setup specialist lighting equipment, thats why its imperative you understand flash! However I digress yet again!

It's important to know what results you can expect under certain lighting conditions, you need to learn to know, understand what type of photograph works best in the conditions you're shooting under. This, of course, can only come with experience, using your eyes and a certain amount of common sense, we all know that the weather in Somerset can produce many variations with the weather, patience is required if you want to produce a mind blowing photograph!

Sunny mornings, and specifically within an hour of the sun rising above the horizon, will provide a low, raking light that offers the opportunity to shoot all four major variations of lighting frontal, side, back and rim, so if you want to get up nice and early, this light will provide incredible lighting effects.

Early morning is one of the most dynamic times to be out with a camera. Depending on the season, you may also have early morning mist in low-lying areas or over standing water, we all have seen those magical mornings where the sun reflects strongly off tall buildings.

At this time of day, the light temperature will be relatively low, creating a glowing orange cast, while the sun itself can make a spectacular subject.

Mid-morning can provide a compromise between the fire hot sunshine or after sunrise and midday there can be some beautiful variations in the direction of light creating interesting shadows, if the light is more neutral it will reproduce more subtle, yet distinct lighting effects for your photograph.

By midday, with the sun is high in the sky you need to turn your attention shadows and look for well interesting shapes, and saturated colours. The quality of light at this time tends to produce sharp and crisp images.

This is a very interesting time to take those fabulous images, look for lines of shadow that can draw the viewers into the photo, this is a superb trick to try at weddings, look for those converging lines, then place the Bride and groom in the scene, its great for drawing the focus into the image.

For lots more tips, please visit www.thefxworks.co.uk