Taking Good Photos in Bad Light

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!


Since the advent of digital cameras, photographers have been trying to figure out the best way to manage their images: where to store them, what format to use, and how to ensure a client’s image files aren't lost or corrupted.

With film, it was important to store negatives securely. But with digital, you have to consider multiple methods of storage. Because technology can and will fail. The key to making sure your digital images are safe is having a protocol—a digital asset management plan—you adhere to for every client session.

A comprehensive backup solution accounts for three things: 

  • A working backup of files you’re currently using
  • A local backup of all your files and archives
  • An off-site backup

By using redundancy in your backup solutions, you ensure all your files and data will be safe no matter what happens.

Backups can be on-site and local or off-site and external. Burning disks, backing up to a second hard drive, or using a mirrored RAID system are considered on-site local solutions; cloud backup or an external hard drive at a different location are examples of off-site backup solutions. On-site solutions tend to be faster and more accessible; off-site backups can safeguard against any risk that may be presented to your local backups. When evaluating your options, remember that manual backups aren’t updated or monitored. The biggest component for failure in any backup solution is the human component.


Newborns aren’t props. They’re delicate beings who should be treated with extreme care during a portrait session. Photographer Dani Miller offers the following advice for conducting safe baby sessions:

  • Don’t use electric heating pads. Ever. These can easily get too hot and burn an infant.
  • Go easy on the hot air. Keep the studio warm, but don’t overdo it. If you use a space heater, aim it away from the baby to avoid overheating.
  • Natural is best. Keep posing natural and simple. Don’t twist the newborn into unusual positions or potentially dangerous poses. Miller’s favorite pose involves placing the baby on their stomach, hands relaxed underneath the head, feet tucked under the curled-up legs. Most important: Work with the baby how they most want to be. Don’t try to force anything.
  • All hands on baby. Someone needs to hold or support the baby at all times. Never leave the baby balanced in a precarious position. It only takes an instant for them to shift out of position and fall.

Read full article here: ppmag