If you're a photographer, you've likely heard other photographers tell you that you should only shoot during golden hour. As a Joshua Tree Photographer, I'm here to tell you NOT to be afraid to play with different types of lighting! Don't be afraid to to photograph during midday sun!
1. Pops of Color
Yes, the lighting is harsher, but it can also create some beautiful, dramatic looks. Pops of color blending with the action of the moment can create something just as beautiful as photographing during golden hour.
Don't get me wrong.... Golden Hour sessions are my jam and they definitely produce my favorite lighting scenarios. But!!! The point of photography is to work with light. That means ALL types of light. I'll be the first to admit I am TERRIBLE about working with artificial lighting sources/studio lighting. That's an area I personally should work on to develop some skills in that type of lighting. But being able to "master" all types of different lighting situations in natural light is a gift in itself. I'm not saying I've mastered anything, but I darn sure enjoy trying.
2. Creating Depth
When you've got harsher lighting, you can take that opportunity to create some depth in your images. Learning how to achieve a good balance of shadows and highlights is key to any good photography. Without these key elements you'll risk your image falling flat.
This little beauty was a great little model for me during this beach outing we had. One of the issues you can encounter with harsh mid-day sun is "racoon eyes". This typically occurs when the sun is more directly overhead. Where you place your subject in relation to where the sun is at in the sky is important. Move around your subject. Move your subject around. Find the most flattering light without making them squint and without causing them to look like all their mascara just melted off their lashes.
3. Dramatic Black and White Photos
Black and white images are some of my absolute favorite, regardless of the time of day they were taken. When taken during midday sun, they can easily become more silhouetted, which I also love.
To me, a midday black and white images are dramatic. On top of that, when you add them to something like the photo above at the beach, it creates a larger feeling. It gives the image some life. I suggest shooting for the shadows. Under expose just a tad so you don't completely blow any white objects out in your frame. I'd rather work to bring my subject back a bit more than to completely lose the details in my whites. And yes.... you can use a flash/speedlight for fill... but I'm talking natural light here. Limited gear. This is just how I shoot.... feel free to shoot how your prefer.
While Golden Hour is still and will likely always be my favorite light to shoot in (outdoors anyway), only to be rivaled by overcast days, I love playing in different types of lighting situations. Low light, window light, harsh light, back light, you name it and I want to photograph in it! You should too! Don't be afraid to try something new with your lighting. How else will you know what does and doesn't work? How else will you be able to grow in your skills?