Cloudy Day? Take a Hike and Get The Best Photos in the Woods
When given the opportunity to do a photo shoot in the woods, it sounds like a good idea at first. But if a professional is going to shoot a portrait in the woods he or she is hoping for a cloudy day. This is an exercise in understanding light and it’s a very important one.
A forest on a sunny day, despite what most amateurs think, is a difficult locale to shoot a portrait. The light is splotchy and uneven, splotchy light is just about always bad—especially if there’s more than one person in the picture. If one person is standing in a spot of shade the other is bound to be hit by a direct ray of overhead sun, casting an unattractive shadow across the face. Someone’s in the shade and someone’s in the sun–it’s a tough situation even for the best photographers (who would try to avoid it).
I had been taking pictures for years before I realized that cloudy days are often better for photography than sunny days. It sounds so simple and so obvious to me now, decades later, but it’s a barrier in thinking that amateurs need to break through.
A cloudy day can be a godsend despite what most amateurs believe. A sunny day in the woods is difficult for even the finest of photographers. I usually avoid it.