All landscape photographers love shooting at Golden Hour when the sky is usually filled with amazing colors. But what should you do when the sky is covered with “boring” thick clouds, or you have to shoot at other times of day?
In today’s tutorial from the WalksOnTheWildSide YouTube channel, you’ll learn a few tricks to transform those dull skies into interesting and beautiful photographs that don’t rely upon vivid colors for maximum impact. It certainly doesn’t help that this behind-the-scenes episode was shot at Scotland’s picturesque Loch Lomond, but the techniques revealed will work wonders wherever you happen to be.
Instructor Scott Walker is a British pro with a portfolio of amazing landscape and macro images with a unique look—much of them relying upon soft, muted colors for their appeal. He often shoots in less-than-ideal light, and in this episode he shares his favorite techniques for capturing epic images in ho-hum light.
Walker covers a variety of topics in 16 minutes—everything from adjusting exposure and contrast to using filters and more, so you don’t have to “over-rely on the Golden hours of sunrise and sunset to shoot beautiful landscape photographs.”
As he scrutinizes what initially appeared to be uninspiring scene, you’ll see how Walker comes up with an interesting composition—taking advantage of low-hanging clouds with hills in the background, and a rock formation just offshore from the camera position. He then employs two ND filters to permit a 30-second exposure that totally smooths out the water in the Loch.
Walker discusses taking a minimalist approach on drab days like this and describes how an overexposed “high-key” technique can result in special images. He then demonstrates the opposite method, by intentionally underexposing photos for a foreboding “low-key” effect. Either way, the results he achieves prove that “boring light” can be your friend.
Along the way you’ll pick up more tips on camera settings, and composition to make the most of what Mother Nature has to offer. You’ll also see how Walker frames a scene in a way that cuts out the clouds altogether.
By following Walker’s advice, you may find that the images you make have as much or more impact than the more typical photos captured with gorgeous Golden Hour Light. For more tips like this just pay a visit to his instructional YouTube channel.
We also suggest you watch the tutorial we posted from another accomplished pro, explaining why he insists, “don’t shoot at ISO 100.”