How to Make the Most of Bad Light in Landscape Photos
Too often you’re out on a shoot, scrambling over rocks and trudging through mud to chase that perfect light – then, all of a sudden, the clouds roll in and you’re faced with a flat, grey landscape. Whilst some of us might give up or feel disheartened at this point, photographer Nigel Danson is here to show us that with a bit of effort, flat light can be just as beautiful.
But, unsurprisingly, things don’t go to plan; the Welsh weather keeps the clouds (and rain!) thick in the sky. Yet despite the hazy conditions, Danson remains enthusiastic and keeps on shooting to show us how we can make the most of flat light in any landscape.
#1 Look for Shapes
When the light is flat, Danson suggests that you turn your eye to shapes in the landscape. These shapes can give depth, texture, and interest to a scene when light is lacking. Diagonal lines, reflections on lakes, and mountain grooves are just some of the examples to forge eye-catching compositions.
Read more: How Horizon Placement Affects Depth
#2 Know Your Light
When we look out across an overcast landscape it can all seem a bit flat and lacking contrast, but Danson points out that there are subtle differences which could really add drama to a scene. Although our eyes may not notice these, the camera will pick out a lot more contrast and make for some emotive imagery.
#3 Work the Foreground
In landscape photography, foreground is often touted as essential to crafting great imagery. But, in overcast conditions, foreground is even more important when there’s little in the way of interesting light to work with. Danson suggests getting down low in your scene, making the foreground appear larger. He also recommends adding a person or animal into the composition, as a great way to add depth.
For added inspiration, take a look at his 3 Simple Tips to Improve Your Summer Landscapes.