This is the final part of my basic guide to landscape photography for beginners and talks about the best times of the day to shoot to get the best lighting. After all, photography is all about light.
To be absolutely honest, there are images to be made at any time of the day, but there are certain times which may be more effective and do give you different lighting options.
The golden hour – This is the period just after sunrise and just before sunset when the sun is low in the sky and produces a softer, more golden light. This is a particularly popular time for landscape and seascape photography, not just because of the colours but also the shadows that can be created.
The magic hour—Some people refer to the golden hour as the magic hour but I prefer to think of it as the time when the sun is just below the horizon about to peek up at dawn or the sun has just gone below the horizon at dusk. At this time you won’t get the strong glow of the sun but what you will get is a beautiful soft light and colours that helps to capture some beautiful images.
The blue hour—this is when the sun is still a little further below the horizon at dawn and just gone a little further down below the horizon at dusk. In the right circumstances this will produce a beautiful deep blue sky and the beginnings of light starting or ending below the horizon.
Most landscape photographers will agree that these are the best times to capture landscapes, but, whilst the sun will be high in the sky in the middle of the day, causing a more flat light and less shadows, you can still create some interesting images, especially in black & white.
You can of course still create stunning landscape images long after the sun has gone down or before it comes up.