Best time to shoot photos outside?

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cpetrou
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Posted Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:05AM

Greetings...


Is there a particulat time that works best when taking daylight photos outside? I've always thought early morning or late afternoon / early evening. Does anyone have any additional suggestions? Also, what would bw considered the worst time? Again, I've always thought between 11am and 1pm. Finally, does anyone have any additional helpful hints or suggestions for taking photos outside?


Thanks in advance for any help, direction or suggestions.

Sincerely,
Craig
PrairieArtProject
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Posted Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:40AM
Your general guidelines are about right, but it depends on a couple of things. An overcast day can be great for taking photos outside, at any time of day. If you have some shade, like the north side of your house, or diffused light, such as under a leafy tree, you may be able to shoot there, even at the sunniest time of the day.

My suggestion is to go outside and try shooting around and see what happens. That's the beauty of digital; if they turn out all crap, you can always just wipe the card & give it another go.
Alyssum
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Posted Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:36AM

Here are a few tips for shooting photos outside. 


Have an assistant with you - who would be willing to hold up a reflector to bounce some light into the shadow areas of your subject.  If you don't have "an actual photo reflector", you could use cardboard, or even better, the foam backed poster boards work great.  


Use a polarizing filter when shooting landscapes, reflective surfaces, blue skys and many other situations.  The polarizer will darken a blue sky, and will take away distracting reflections on windows, water or any other reflective surface.


When shooting people, try to keep their faces out of the direct sun to avoid squinting - so they have a more relaxed and natural look. 


Oh, and don't forget "sunny 16"  There are many exceptions, but F16 on a sunny day, is usually the rule.


Cheers!
Ramsey
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Posted Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:41AM
This is a fantastic article that has helped me out tremendously.
eendicoCLOSED
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Posted Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:37AM

Craig, morning and evening, back to the sun, blah blah blah are correct but tracyjayhawk nailed it right on - experimenting is good and it all depends on what you are doing.  I've had some really good bright sunlight middle of the day photographs come out absolutely stunning in black & white or sepia.  I've had some color photos come out terrific as well.  Good stock sometimes breaks all rules - don't limit yourself - be creative and have fun.

 

P.S. - the polarizor is a good idea but don't hesitate to take it off and put on a UV filter.  My experience is in snow and bright light, a UV filter can be just as appealing. 
ericfoltz
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Posted Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:49AM
Unless it's overcast, there are thunderstorms or I'm shooting sports, I rarely bother taking my camera out of the bag other than one hour before or after sunrise or sunset.
JGould
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Posted Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:44PM
I tend to shoot in 2 locations - beach, or park. For the beach I start ~ 1.5 hours before sunset. If you start earlier the sun is too harsh, if you start later you may start losing too much light before you're done shooting. For parks I prefer more like 3 hours before sunset, and I put the subjects under a high tree. That allows ample light in, but keeps the harsh light off their faces. If you can find the right type of open shade, e.g. trees at a park, a rock cropping blocking direct sun at the beach, the time isn't as critical.
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