Taking Pictures On A Cloudy President's Day

The best pictures are made sometimes when the weather is cloudy.


I decided today to take advantage of the President's Day holiday when nobody is working to create some images of the San Leandro Library, the Arts Education Center and the City Hall.

Usually during the week there's a lot of folks coming and going from these places and it is very hard to create a good capture.

Plus the weather was good. It was cloudy in the morning.

I was asked a couple of weeks ago, when is the best time to take pictures and my answer was that the best time is when it's cloudy.

The questioner looked at me in surprise and asked how could this be.

The answer is very simple. 

When the sun is out you get very hard lighting and very hard shadows.  When it's cloudy you get very even lighting -- in other words no shadows. 

So next time it's cloudy, take some photographs of your children and you'll see that you will not get those shadows around their eyes.

You can see more of Raul's work at www.raaphoto.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tom Abate February 22, 2012 at 03:19 AM
I'm all for a seance, Leah :)
Leah Hall February 22, 2012 at 04:55 AM
"Why we live in the Southwest" -Duane Hall ...case in point, a video my dad sent me via e-mail today. http://player.vimeo.com/video/22132017?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0
Craig Williams February 22, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Great stuff Leah. Georgia was married to a photographer and she revolutionized floral art by doing close-ups . Now tons of photographers do floral close ups , so do many painters. They're better when the shadows are pronounced , according to Jan Kunz in Painting Watercolor Florals that Glow "Flowers and sunshine go together...a picture without good value relationships will appear flat and uninteresting."
Tim Holmes February 22, 2012 at 06:45 AM
These photos have been heavily processed as HDR* and it seems like that should be noted in the article. I'm not suggesting anything wrong with HDR processing of images, but it seems only fair that you should note this technique when presenting the lighting quality of the images to be the result of a cloudy day. (*High Dynamic Range is when one takes a series of a few photos at different light levels and combines them to lighten shadows and give a photo more even overall lighting.)
Raul Alvarez February 22, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Hi, Tim. You are correct about HDR. I was not a fan of HDR for quite sometime until the software got better. A lot of professional photographers are using it. Some results I dont agree with it, perhaps you've seen them. HDR can be use if the results have a realistic look. Thank you for your observation.


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