Landscape photographers work primarily in natural light, which presents a few problems — for starters, the most beautiful lighting conditions each day last for no more than a few hours. Other times, sunsets will be lost behind cloudy skies, making it impossible to see a landscape at its best. When the sky is gray or the sun is directly overhead, it can be tough to find inspiration for high-quality photography. My hope with this article is to share some tips that have worked for me when I photograph in bad lighting conditions — something which every photographer experiences at some point.
1) Look For Colors
The beauty of the light at sunset and sunrise is that it sculpts the landscape with saturated hues — in other words, the lighting provides the scene with color. When skies are overcast, though, natural lighting doesn’t offer the hues necessary for a richly-colored photograph. Instead, to create a colorful image, you must search for a vivid subject.
With an overcast sky, your light will soft and gentle. Take this opportunity to look for muted colors that would not be visible in the saturated light of sunset — soft purples and blues, perhaps. These colors may be too subtle to appear at sunset or sunrise, but a cloudy day allows them to shine.
After a rainstorm, too, it is possible to take beautiful images of deeply-saturated colors. Even with the dreariest of skies, a rainforest will always look vivid and green — a wonderful recipe for a landscape photographer. Remember to bring your polarizing filter!