The best time of day to take photos is a question that is always up for debate. Some people say it’s in the morning when the sun is rising. Yet others argue that it should be later on in the evening when there are more natural light sources around.
The answer really depends on what you’re shooting and what you want your pictures to look like. If you’re taking landscape shots during sunrise (or sunset), then early morning might be your best bet. The sky will have less haze from pollution and dust than later as those things accumulate throughout daylight hours.
Let’s take a look at some of the best times to take photos so you can get the best pictures yet.
1. Golden Hour is Key to the Best Photos
You may have heard of the beauty of the Golden Hour. This is the term for when the light from sunset or sunrise has a golden hue to it. The photography world refers to this lighting condition as “magic hour” because of how gorgeous and picturesque it can be.
The Golden Hour is a handy photography tool. The light it provides makes everything look more vibrant, and photos come out with a warmer, more rich color palette.
There are many reasons why this type of photography lighting can be so appealing for photographers. The sunset or sunrise warm up colors on your subject’s face and any buildings in the background, giving them a golden hue.
This creates a beautiful contrast between lighter skin tones and darker objects in the foreground. Think backlit sunsets over water against silhouettes of palm trees!
2. Morning Light Is Excellent for Shots That Need To Be Bright and Airy
If you’re a morning person, you’re in luck! Morning light provides a different photography experience than you would get during the day as it’s bright and airy. One great thing about morning photography is that there’s less haze and pollution in the sky, making it easier to capture clear skies.
Landscape photos where you want to capture the sunrise will be the most gorgeous on a clear day.
If you are doing a photoshoot with clients, they may or may not be keen on the idea. But make sure they know how much more beauty you can capture in the morning.
3. Evening Light Can Give a Romantic Feeling, but It’s Also Best for Photos with More Depth
The evening will typically have more depth in the photo, which makes sense since there’s more natural light around at that time of the day.
If you do many wedding photography or engagement sessions with couples, the golden hour is the perfect halfway point. You might have clients who work a typical 9-5, and you get the best natural light for romantic portraits that work around their schedules.
4. Midday Light Is the Worst Time of Day To Take Pictures Because It Causes Shadows on Your Subject and Makes Them Look Flat
The worst time to take photos is noon. You may not have realized it, but midday photography can cause shadows on your subject and make them look flat.
Midday photography typically has harsh lighting. It makes for unflattering images of people’s faces when they’re in direct sun or even indoor light from a window that isn’t filtered with curtains. It’s way too harsh and can make people look ghost white.
Unless you have an event that falls mid-day, it’s best to avoid this time of day as a photographer.
5. If You’re Taking Pictures Indoors, Use Natural Lighting From a Window or Skylight for the Best Results
The photography world refers to this as “window light,” and it’s the perfect type of lighting for brightening up an otherwise dull photo. It can also help remove shadows that fall on your subject (if they have one).
Capturing photos indoors with natural light takes skill and practice. If you’re shooting on a dark and dreary day, you may need to make some natural lighting of your own with a softbox or other artificial lighting.
But if you set up your shot appropriately, it can make for the most gorgeous photos ever.
6. When Shooting in Low-Light Situations (Such as at Night), Turn Off Any Nearby Lights, so They Don’t Affect the Quality of Your Photo
Night photography is tricky. Use natural light from nearby windows and lamps if you can’t set up your own with a softbox or other artificial lighting alternative.
If you have lights in the background, turn them off, so they don’t affect the quality of your photo (especially when taking pictures at night). This way, you can avoid any harsh shadows or reflections.
FAQ’s: Best Times to Photograph Anything
What time is the golden hour for photography?
The last few hours before sunset and the first few hours after sunrise are professionals’ favorite periods to take photos. Commonly called “the golden hour” or “magic hour,” these moments provide the perfect light for capturing a stunning image.
What is the best lighting for pictures?
When it comes to taking pictures indoors, natural lighting that is soft and diffused always works best. If you have a room with a window, face the window when taking photos for better light reflection.
It will work better even if you’re not near the window–the first bounce off this reflective surface makes your background look brighter.
What does “blue time” mean?
A blue hour is the period of twilight where there is not much light left. It can be in the morning or evening, depending on when it’s happening. For a photographer, this time is excellent for capturing beautiful photos with blue tones. They provide different options and perspectives on your photographs.
What time is “blue hour”?
Photographers often refer to the time in the evening, right after sunset and before sunrise, as “the blue hour.”
For example, if it’s 5 pm when the sun sets, the blue hour lasts from about 5:10 pm to 5:30 pm.
If it’s 5 am when the sun rises, the blue hour happens between 4:30 am, and 4:50 am.
Take Advantage of Light Conditions to Capture Your Best Photos
It really all depends on what you’re shooting when deciding which time of day to take pictures at. But it’s worth experimenting with different times if you haven’t already.
Experimenting with different photography lighting conditions will allow you to hone your photography skills. Plus, you find out what works best for you!
Conclusion: What is the Best Time of Day to Take Photos?
It all depends on what type of photography shots you’re trying to capture. However, it’s worth experimenting with shooting early morning (also known as sunrise) and late evening hours (sunset).
The golden hour that occurs during these two time periods can make for some gorgeous pictures. You’ll get warm tones that contrast nicely against darker objects such as buildings or silhouettes.
Whether it’s possible to capture unique shots in the middle of different times of day may depend on your location. It also depends on who has access to photography and the proper equipment.
For more resources on taking photos on any day or time, check out our other articles on lighting and more!