What is the best time to take pictures outside?

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Having the best camera in your hand does not mean you can create the best photos ever. There are a numerous of factors which help to create a perfect photo. One of them is the best time to shoot, especially the best time to take pictures outside is. However, I have to say that there is no exact answer to this question. It could be any time if you are able to take its advantage to turn it into the best moment for your outside pictures.

What is the best time to take pictures outside?
Best time to take pictures outside

When it comes to the best time to shoot photos outsides, 3 adjectives that are often mentioned are the best, easiest and most unique. In other words, people call it the golden hour.

When is the golden time?

It is time within 1 hour before sunset and 1 hour after sunrise. In these moments, the light is often the most appealing, soft, and dramatic. It is said that you are more likely to create great images, whether it is a portrait or landscape during these time frames.

What is the best time to take pictures outside?
Best time of day to take pictures outside

The breathtaking colors and lights during sunrise and sunset moments can even appeal to amateur photographers. As you can imagine the sky is painted, adding a lot of depth to the pictures. There is hardly anything more gorgeous than that. However, it will take some times to get exactly what they want for the first time. 

For professional photographers, shooting in the golden time is not something hard to do. They have experience in camera settings with different light. So everything can be taken very quickly.

You, now might wonder it is not always a perfect day for a nice sunrise or sunset, and what happens on a cloudy day. Yet saying golden hour doesn’t mean that is the only perfect moment, you can wait for the right time and shoot your photos.

On the other hand, there are also some difficulties that we often encounter when shooting in the golden hour.

  • It happens in a short time: as it takes quite fleeting time for the sun to ascend or descend, the lighting conditions can change rapidly. If you cannot do things in a hurry, you probably miss that. Therefore, you have less time for setting up than usual, and more preparation time earlier is needed.
  • It is often not convenient for people: the sunrise might be too early for many people to wake up, and the sunrise can be too late for others’ schedules. Therefore, to have successful photos, you need to keep these things in mind.
  • Controlling shadows might be very challenging: it is often the reflector that will handle this matter, but the reflector might not works in case the sun is too low.
  • The intense colors can cause a problem: During the sunrise and sunset, the blaring colors will attract the viewers’ eyes away from your subjects. You definitely don’t want your subjects to be overpowered as the main subject of your photos.

What is the best time to take picture outside?

What is the best time to take pictures outside?
Best lighting to take pictures

Now we all know the golden hour, including sunrise and sunset, is the priority for our photos. But other time frames also need to be taken into consideration.

  • High noon

It sounds weird to some photographers, but this time has its own advantages, especially to the urban landscape photographers which will be interested in its hard shadows. For example, noon will be the best time of day for you to take crystal-clear pictures of a body of water.

For the hard shadows that can appear on the face of your subjects, it is ideal if you have a reflector in your hand to fill those shadows somehow. If not, take advantage of the reflective things in your surroundings. For instance, the sand at the beach can work well. The shadowy areas can be the most flattering places, so keep an eye out for them and place your subject there. 

In particular, if you are looking for a photo with a very high-contrast look, noon is a perfect choice. Also, the challenging conditions of noontime can create the most creative shots.

  • Blue Hour

As mentioned above, we have the gold hours which are 1 hour after sunrise and 1 hour before sunset. But how about the blue hour? They are the time right before sunrise and right after sunset. In other words, they are dawn and dusk. It is not completely dark, but the sun is behind the horizon, which creates some ambient light, the feeling of peace and stillness for your pictures. The image of a home reflected on a lakeside might be very gorgeous.

It is time for you to include a bluish tone into your pictures. But it is even shorter than the gold hours, so you have to know exactly what you want to shoot and move as quickly as possible. Or imagine the photos of urban scenes with artificial lights, there will be a contrast between the ambient blue and the urban yellow lights. It is absolutely photogenic.

  • Night Time

Basing on what you want to capture, it is sometimes the night time when you can take the perfect ones, and it is impossible in the day time. At the same time, you need to master the skills of manual settings on your camera so that you will take the amazing advantages of ambient lights available in cities.

You should consider this time because the night in the modern world seems to last longer. Plus, it would be completely different at night time compared to the commonplace day scenes.

To conclude, it doesn’t matter what types of photography you are desiring to capture, there is something called natural light that you cannot make up in a studio. In the end, it depends on the photos that you want to take that you will choose the appropriate times of day in different conditions. 

In case you want to shoot twilight photos but weather condition does not support you, consider using virtual dusk techniques which can be applied on Photoshop to support you.

We hope you will have great shots!!