Friday, 14 December 2007

Light 3: Overcast Skylight.

Every time we are shooting in the sunlight, the bright sun offers us huge amount of natural light as well as harsh shadows. If you are taking the advantage of the free bright light, you have to take the shadows as well. It's a package deal. The fill-in flash cannot always minimize the effect too.

Here comes the natural solution for harsh shadows: OVERCAST SKYLIGHT

Best overcast skylights are available on those days when the sun is high and the sky is covered with pale grey clouds. Those days, you will never have to bring out your flash to hide the dark shadow patches. Beautiful portraits: simply, naturally! This soft light not only helps to create brilliant portraits, but capturing minute architectural details also.

An angel representing commerce.

Overcast or rainy days are great to capture nature also. Go out to the garden, have a splish-splash, shoot the brilliant colors of nature saturated to optimum. This is the time when grass is at its greenest, and the dandelion is at its yellowest.

This "mother of all softboxes" is not without problems, though. Too much of sky in your pictures may look boring, how much exceptional they may be. So, try to include as little sky as possible in your shots.

Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
This shot, although came out nicely, is a bit boring because of the flat white sky.

OVERCAST COOL TIP: Overcast skies are slightly more "blue" than normal skies. So if you are using a film camera with normal daylight film, use an 81C warming filter. And if you are a digital camera user, simply turn the "white balance" to cloudy.

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