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How to find the best light for photography

Light is, and always will be one of the most important aspects of any great photo. So its probably worth taking a look at how you can find the best possible light. Then use this light to take your photos to the next level.


Sunrise and sunset, have and always will be the best times for getting that golden light. Obviously depending on conditions. When it is completely overcast, it won't make much difference. You can check this in advance using modern technology.

Personally I use an app called Golden Hour One. The app is paid (not much though and totally worth it). The app gives you a sky and light rating out of 10. If the sky is 10 out of 10, that means broken beautiful clouds all over the sky. If the light is 10 out of 10, that means you are definitely getting some golden light. If both are 10/10 then you should 100% go out. You can change the location and find predictions for places that you are planning to go to. I find it accurate and very useful, sure you will too.

When you are looking to go somewhere for sunrise or sunset, knowing where the sun is going to be is very useful when planning shots. This is something you can find out on this app, or an even better app for that is photopills.

Whether sunrise or sunset is better will depend on your location and the conditions. Personally, generally speaking, I prefer sunrises. You usually get the place to yourself (unless its a very popular one). You also have a higher chance of catching a cloud inversion. If you want to know more about cloud inversions, check out my blog on them here.

Blue Hour

Blue hour is a very interesting and cool time to take photos too. Ideally you will need a tripod as you may have to do long exposures. Blue hour is the hour before sunrise, and after sunset. This is when it is dark but not completely dark- blue (as suggested in the name!). This again is dependant on conditions. You can get very creative and come back with something unique when you utilise blue hour.


Overcast, or cloudy weather is brilliant for photos. While you may not get those colourful sunrise/sunsets, you get soft light all day. If the weather is clear, taking shots in the middle of the day will cause all sorts of problems. The harsh midday light when the weather is clear will give you very bright highlights, and very dark shadows. I tend to avoid that.

Overcast light on the other hand gives you awesome conditions all day long. You get much more of an atmospheric, moody vibe to your photos. Not to mention the chance of magic light (see below). Magic light is where the sun pierces through the clouds, shooting out fantastic rays. If you see magic light, be very, very quick to capture it. Magic light comes and goes quickly, you really have to be on the ball to get it.

For me those are the times when the light is best. I'm sure if you try this out you will see why!


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