Canon PowerShot G12, The Golden Light

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If you ask any professional landscape photographer what their favorite time of day to shoot is, chances are they will tell you it’s the hours surrounding daybreak and sunset (Figures 7.8 and 7.9). Light comes from a very low angle to the landscape, which creates shadows and gives depth and character. There is also a quality to the light that seems cleaner and is more colorful than the light you get when shooting at midday. One thing that can dramatically improve any morning or evening shot is the presence of clouds. The sun fills the underside of the clouds with a palette of colors and adds drama to your skies.

The few minutes just prior to sunrise can add great colors to the sky.
Figure 7.8 The few minutes just prior to sunrise can add great colors to the sky.
Late afternoon sun is usually warmer and adds drama and warmth to the clouds.
Figure 7.9 Late afternoon sun is usually warmer and adds drama and warmth to the clouds.

Warm and cool color temperatures

These two terms are used to describe the overall colorcast of an image. Reds and yellows are said to be warm, which is usually the look that you get from the late afternoon sun. Blue is usually the predominant color when talking about a cool cast.