Midday sun illuminating trees at Millpond Recreation Area

Its pretty common to see landscape photographers to chase light either during sunrise or sunset. The low angle of sun gives out really nice warm glow on the landscape. Similarly, for portraits, folks prefer soft light, like when its really cloudy. This kind of light doesn’t cast harsh shadows and its easy to get some nice portraits.

Thats how I used to think too as thats what I read as part of my learning of this craft. Somewhere along the way, I got in to following Zack Arias’s work and his famous One Light setups. His story and philosophy is really inspiring and he is truly a master of one light.

In one of his posts or videos (I can’t seem to recollect), he mentions about light and its characteristics. If you simplify, photography is nothing but capturing of light; either reflected or direct. And light is just light. Instead of viewing it as good or bad, how about we just saw it as light. The good/bad comes how we use that light. Now this might not mean much on the face of it, but if you think about it, whether the light is good or bad, depends on how we use it.

If you are shooting landscapes, then midday sun is definitely going to be not your favorite times to shoot. The angle of sun is very high, casts really harsh shadows and definitely doesn’t make things look pleasant. But I like to use this light to create some B&W images. I love how this light gives opportunities for some striking contrast between lit and shadow areas of a frame.

This was shot with that theme in mind during a midday sun over at Millpond Recreation Area near Bishop.

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