Why does time of day and lighting matter?

May 24, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Have you ever planned an outdoor portrait session and your photographer wanted to do early morning or evening for the session? Did you ever wonder why it makes a difference to your session since they can always just 'photoshop it later'. 

First off, photoshop is a great tool, but you can only do so much with it. If you start with harsh overhead shadows during the middle of the day, no amount of photoshop is going to make it look like an evening shoot (and actually look good for the effort). 

I went on a location scouting walk the other day to see what is around me now that I live in Warminster, and came across an out of the way area that had potential. I took some shots as I went along, using Kaeden as my model, and thinking wow, this would be an awesome place to do a session. Except.. the lighting during the day is very different than when I came back in the evening, and the tree line totally messed me up so most of the spots I thought I could use, I wouldn't be able to get the same effect I was going for. 

Now don't get me wrong, some of the spots would still be nice to use for something else, but it's definitely not going to be the gorgeous sunset lighting I was looking for. I also feel I should mention that I was trying out an app on my phone that shows the direction the sun rises and sets, and I was looking at it backwards, so thought a lot of the spots I liked would have sun coming from the right direction for an evening shoot. 

Sunset SessionSunset Lighting is Beautiful

Anyway, I decided to run back in the evening to scout the sunset light (and was greatly disappointed by how little I had to work with at the time the sun was low enough in the sky to get the look I wanted) but was pretty happy with the one spot I found where the sun sets about half an hour earlier than I expected due to the tree line, but still offers a great opportunity for a sunset session. 

Evening lighting Oh, and please disregard the fact that my little guy has hair covering his eyes, it is just way too long again and we are taking him for another haircut this week. haha

So if you look at the quick image of Kaeden in the stroller compared to him in the grass, you can see how big of a difference the lighting really is for the session to be successful. These were all taken at the same place, the same day, just different times of the day. 


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