Tip #3:
Seize the (Whole) Day

By Bob Krist

Bob’s next book will be PhotoSecrets Travel Photography.

It’s no secret that the most beautiful light occurs early in the morning and late in the afternoon. In fact, John Loengard, the former picture editor of LIFE, once quipped that “Teachers don’t work in the summer, and photographers don’t shoot in in the middle of the day.” In a perfect world, that may be true, but most of us need to utilize the whole day while we’re on location.

To make the most of my time, I’ll shoot my scenics and exteriors in the early morning and late afternoon. I save interiors and closeup shots, location scouting and phone call returning for the middle of the day, when the light is more harsh. If I need to shoot people in the middle of the day, I look for backlight or open shade, using fill flash or a reflector to open shadows and add sparkle.

Finally, don’t quit shooting when the sun goes down. Sure, everyone loves to shoot the sunset itself, but how many stick around for the afterglow and the dusk? This half hour or so after sunset, when there is still color in the sky, is such a favorite time to shoot that it is known as the “magic hour” by many photographers. It’s the ideal time to shoot skylines, lighted monuments, and even landscapes.

Copyright 2006–2011 Bob Krist. Reproduced with permission. No Internet reproduction or other usage permitted. For more information send an email. Bob’s next book will be PhotoSecrets Travel Photography.

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