4/11/12

Overcast to the Rescue

Overcast Gem

       The vibrant hues of spring time are terribly hard to control during midday or under direct sunlight. Overcast provides a welcomed opportunity to tone down the scenes dynamic range (difference between highlights and shadows of a given scene) and capture typically difficult situations with relative ease. Overcast creates very diffused light, meaning the clouds scatter light rays from the sun. This scattered light creates very soft shadows because the light is coming from multiple of angles vs. a single angle (Sun on a clear day). The soft shadows make it possible to photograph very reflective and vibrant scenes without worrying about overexposing the highlights of a shot or loosing shadow detail. Waterfalls, wet foliage, reflective objects and rough waters are perfect subject matter for overcast conditions. A very important piece of equipment not to forget about is the circular polarizer filter. This filter truly comes into its own during overcast conditions. One is able to increase saturation in present hues and reduce reflections off of a wet or reflective surface. 

       Next time you look out of your window and see overcast conditions dominating the sky try thinking out of the box. Imagine what subject matter might be easier to work with or what areas you might be able to flatter or represent more powerfully. I hope you found this helpful and interesting. I am merely breaking the surface with this introduction to working with overcast conditions. I will be posting more detailed information to help anyone get the best results. If you have questions, comments or simply want to learn more about this type of lighting, feel free to E-mail me at jbphotography2@yahoo.com.

Technical details: Canon 7D, Canon 10-22mm lens (@10mm), Circular Polarizer Filter, ISO 100, F/11, 1/2 Second.

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