Time of Day Affects Scenic Images

When we're photographing outdoor scenes, particularly landscapes, the time of day we shoot can make all the difference. We're dependent on the sun for both the direction and color of the light on the land.

Light early in the morning is low in the sky, raking across the terrain and creating the highlights and shadows that reveal contours and textures. Low morning light is also warmer, more golden, and this adds a pleasing color to our images.

Morning light warms the scene
7:50am MDT

In comparison, light in the middle of the day is high in the sky, creating shadows only under trees and flattening contrast in the hills and valleys. It is also much cooler, more blue, especially at higher elevations, and this is less appealing to viewers.

Midday light is blue
10:53am MDT

Visit local scenes at the best times of day for help with your outdoor pictures in Photography in the Field, beginning Thursday, May 30, 2019, at 6:30pm at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. Click here to register.