This… Can Be Just As Great As The Golden Hour

Kent DuFault
Kent DuFault

New / Noteworthy

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in our Quick Tip email series.

This Quick Tip comes to you from our premium guide, How To Produce Top Photography In Bad Weather 

Pretty much everyone who has ever held a camera has heard of the “Golden Hour”.

You know, that hour around sunset, when the sunshine becomes our friend, and everything photographs a little bit prettier than it is (even in real life).

However, there is another element of light that can produce awesome results that you may not have even thought of.

That element is the heavy overcast light that comes with bad weather.

Now don’t get me wrong. Bad weather does present its own challenges. However, if you’re willing to do something different, and give it a shot, you can get some dramatic results that are simply impossible under sunny conditions.

You’ve probably seen some of the commercial diffusers that are meant to soften and diffuse the light coming from an electronic flash.

A heavy overcast sky is doing the same thing to the sunshine.

What is the result?

Photo by Kent DuFault

Tip# 1 – Your camera will be able to capture greater detail from highlights to shadows due to a reduction in the contrast range.

Photo by Kent DuFault

Tip #2 – This reduction in contrast also tends to mute colors down into a beautiful pastel range of hues that simply cannot be captured in bright light.

So… Two Big Advantages to Shooting In Bad Weather!

  • A reduction in contrast that will allow to you to capture greater detail from the highlights to shadows.

Assignment: If you’ve photographed a particular place that you love, but the results have been less than stellar due to high contrast with shadows that were too deep and highlights that were all blown out, go photograph that place again during a bad weather day!

  • The reduced contrast of a bad weather day can provide interesting pastel muted colors that aren’t visible in bright light.

Assignment: On a rainy cloudy day, go out and photograph a location that is known for its bright colors. See if you can discover a new aspect of that place using muted color.

BONUS: I've got something special for you on the next page...

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About Kent DuFault

About Kent DuFault

Kent DuFault became a photographer in September of 1974. He took a “Basic Photography” class in high school and was hooked for life. You can view his images here on Flickr.