There are advantages to taking pictures when the sun hides behind the clouds . . . as well as disadvantages. Colors tend to be more vibrant, and you don’t have to deal with the annoying stark contrast between highlights and shadows that might destroy an otherwise brilliant picture. An unintentional highlight can easily distract the eye from the main subject in the photo, especially if the rest of the picture is middle tone or dark. When the clouds blanket the sun, the lighting becomes even, eliminating this problem.
The downside? Your friend’s skin might look dull, no matter how sparkling her personality, and the colors might come out a little on the cool side. The solution is simple. Use the flash on your camera.
For landscape photography, you would use a warming filter (to be discussed in an upcoming post), which does what the name implies. But unfortunately they’re expensive, and you can only use them on a SLR camera (the type that allows you to change the lens). The good news is they’re unnecessary with digital cameras. You can warm up the colors in your photos by adjusting the color temperature setting on your camera—found on digital SLR cameras—or play around with the colors in your photo editing software. Or you can leave them alone for a different look.
Of course, the impact on your photo depends on the thickness of the clouds. If the sun is still able to shine through (i.e. it’s not overcast), then there’ll still be enough warmth in the picture so you won’t have to worry about it.
Next week will be the first of two posts on composition. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if there’s a topic you would like covered at a future date.
Note: Next week's post is postponed due to a camping trip