Forums > Photography Talk > When is the worst time of day for a photoshoot?

Model

Jaz S

Posts: 124

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I know I've heard over and over again that around 2pm is the worst.. (1-3). Due to harsh lighting, shadows, etc.
If that's the case, would around 11am and 12pm be around the same? Or should you really only shoot the first few hours after the sun comes up or down?
I would love your experienced opinions! Thanks!

edit: and of course I mean outdoor shoots :p

Feb 01 13 04:43 pm Link

Photographer

Raoul Isidro Images

Posts: 6289

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

I doesn't matter what time of day as long as the sky behaves like a soft box. borat

.

Feb 01 13 04:46 pm Link

Photographer

Kaouthia

Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

Any time of day works for me.  You can always put up flags or diffusers, add flash, stand your subject in open shade, all kinds of stuffs. smile

Feb 01 13 04:47 pm Link

Photographer

MM Nudes

Posts: 62

Los Angeles, California, US

That time of day when you don't have your camera with you would be the worst sad

Feb 01 13 04:52 pm Link

Photographer

SPV Photo

Posts: 789

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

2:00 AM would probably suck. tongue

Feb 01 13 04:54 pm Link

Photographer

Mirror With A Memory

Posts: 287

New York, New York, US

The only bad time is when you don't make time to take a photograph.

Feb 01 13 04:56 pm Link

Photographer

Good Egg Productions

Posts: 15721

Orlando, Florida, US

Around 3pm in August in Orlando outside.

Feb 01 13 04:56 pm Link

Photographer

Kyle T Edwards

Posts: 434

St Catharines, Ontario, Canada

It depends - what kind of light aren't you looking for?

Feb 01 13 04:58 pm Link

Photographer

fullmetalphotographer

Posts: 2789

Fresno, California, US

Jaz S wrote:
I know I've heard over and over again that around 2pm is the worst.. (1-3). Due to harsh lighting, shadows, etc.
If that's the case, would around 11am and 12pm be around the same? Or should you really only shoot the first few hours after the sun comes up or down?
I would love your experienced opinions! Thanks!

edit: and of course I mean outdoor shoots :p

The worst time of the day is when you are at the end of a shoot and you find out the clients check bounces higher than Apollo 11.

There are always work arounds the best thing to do is scout the location in advance and see how the light falls.

Feb 01 13 04:58 pm Link

Photographer

ArtGlo

Posts: 506

Peru, Illinois, US

Jaz S wrote:
I know I've heard over and over again that around 2pm is the worst.. (1-3). Due to harsh lighting, shadows, etc.
If that's the case, would around 11am and 12pm be around the same? Or should you really only shoot the first few hours after the sun comes up or down?
I would love your experienced opinions! Thanks!

edit: and of course I mean outdoor shoots :p

3 AM

Feb 01 13 04:58 pm Link

Photographer

Supermodel Photographer

Posts: 3309

Oyster Bay, New York, US

Jaz S wrote:
When is the worst time of day for a photoshoot?

... of course I mean outdoor shoots

Zero Dark Thirty

Feb 01 13 05:00 pm Link

Photographer

J O H N A L L A N

Posts: 10330

Santa Ana, California, US

Full sun can work too. This was taken like 2-3pm. For this one, it was all about the angle.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110905/20/4e65913e048c1.jpg

Feb 01 13 05:01 pm Link

Photographer

AndyD10

Posts: 350

Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

I only shoot indoors.  But any time before 11am is bad as I'm a grumpy f**ker in the morning.

Feb 01 13 05:02 pm Link

Photographer

Angelfactory

Posts: 1559

Foley, Minnesota, US

8 to 10 am is the worst for me. Usually have a pot of coffee in me and no food. Even the VR lens can't handle that much shake.

Feb 01 13 05:07 pm Link

Photographer

RacerXPhoto

Posts: 2470

Brooklyn, New York, US

Golden hour
http://www.photographymad.com/pages/vie … hotography
Unless you have enough strobe power to nuke the sun

Feb 01 13 05:37 pm Link

Photographer

fullmetalphotographer

Posts: 2789

Fresno, California, US

RacerXPhoto wrote:
Golden hour
http://www.photographymad.com/pages/vie … hotography
Unless you have enough strobe power to nuke the sun

Golden hour is ideal but you do not always need strobes to nuke the sun.

Reflectors will do wonders.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2648/3748164003_9f59427f8a_m.jpg
glam2_124 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3315/3474947585_a939099dab_m.jpg
JillSharp04 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3635/3475758322_df3d196bf7_m.jpg
JillSharp02 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

The other thing is how you position the model.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3635/3289461749_efe1bf7638_m.jpg
reflection by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8500/8323734010_bc558c6b2b_m.jpg
glam2_126 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6217/6313343695_652eb2d9e3_m.jpg
bakerbeach by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

You do not always have to overpower the sun with the flash, but a simple fill light.
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2064/2282784127_3dd1733f2a_m.jpg
rock012 by FullMetalPhotographer, on Flickr

Feb 01 13 05:54 pm Link

Photographer

Brian Scanlon

Posts: 791

Encino, California, US

Jaz S wrote:
I know I've heard over and over again that around 2pm is the worst.. (1-3). Due to harsh lighting, shadows, etc.
If that's the case, would around 11am and 12pm be around the same? Or should you really only shoot the first few hours after the sun comes up or down?
I would love your experienced opinions! Thanks!

edit: and of course I mean outdoor shoots :p

As with any rule there are a ton of exceptions, but the idea is that noontime sun is generally not flattering.  This is usually more of a problem during the summer and the further south (closer to the equator, if your in Australia the further north).  As others have pointed out there are many things that can be done to mitigate this problem.

Feb 01 13 06:12 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1720

San Antonio, Texas, US

Kaouthia wrote:
Any time of day works for me.  You can always put up flags or diffusers, add flash, stand your subject in open shade, all kinds of stuffs. smile

+100   I never worry.

Feb 01 13 06:17 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1720

San Antonio, Texas, US

All this between 12pm and 3pm...
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/28078685
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/28976200
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/28228921

Lots more.... I don't care what time... as long it isn't night ime.. Oh wait.. this was done at night.
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/19680877
None are 18+ ... just dont want to fill up the thread with pics

Feb 01 13 06:22 pm Link

Photographer

Hero Foto

Posts: 878

Phoenix, Arizona, US

who cares what time it is?

Just SHOOT ...

Feb 01 13 06:27 pm Link

Photographer

Mike Colwell Photograph

Posts: 51

Longview, Texas, US

Time of day don't matter. Temperature matters.

Feb 01 13 06:30 pm Link

Photographer

Bravo Magic Images

Posts: 765

Temple City, California, US

No time of Day or night is great for shooting there is always something that goes wrong. It is how prepared you are to do your photoshoot such as lighting cameras lenses reflectors props unless your just doing a casual shoot i would not shoot around trees any time from 12 to 4 pm in any summer time.

Feb 01 13 06:37 pm Link

Photographer

Miracle_Man

Posts: 789

Cary, North Carolina, US

Assuming a sunny day at mid to low latitudes without really good lighting controls, no access to open shade, then 10-2 is pretty bad lighting (11-3 during daylight savings time).

But a good photographer will either add in the necessary supplemental light of find open shade to work with and so time of day won't matter that much.

Now when you get outside of those time frames early morning, late afternoon you get what is called "The golden hour" of light.  The sun is low enough on the horizon to provide nice directional light to use and it's generally a warmer color which many people prefer.  It's hard to do rim lighting using the sun when it's directly overhead.

Feb 01 13 06:43 pm Link

Photographer

PhotographybyT

Posts: 7693

Monterey, California, US

There are work-arounds for harsh lighting and shadows on a bright day. I shoot with these conditions all the time. So I guess it depends on what you're shooting, where you're shooting, and how you're shooting.

Feb 01 13 06:44 pm Link

Photographer

Decay of Memory

Posts: 600

Asheville, North Carolina, US

I usually avoid nighttime.

not always, but usually.

Feb 01 13 06:47 pm Link

Photographer

ELiffmann

Posts: 1414

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US

The big problem with mid-day sun is the squinting and sunken eye sockets.  If you're not making eye contact(sunglasses, closed eyes etc.) no problem.

Feb 01 13 06:57 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1720

San Antonio, Texas, US

Hero Foto wrote:
who cares what time it is?

Just SHOOT ...

Exactly my point... smile

Feb 01 13 07:01 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1720

San Antonio, Texas, US

PhotographybyT wrote:
There are work-arounds for harsh lighting and shadows on a bright day. I shoot with these conditions all the time. So I guess it depends on what you're shooting, where you're shooting, and how you're shooting.

+100 I do the same....

Feb 01 13 07:02 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1720

San Antonio, Texas, US

ELiffmann wrote:
The big problem with mid-day sun is the squinting and sunken eye sockets.  If you're not making eye contact(sunglasses, closed eyes etc.) no problem.

Shade is your friend... reflectors of fill flash...

Feb 01 13 07:03 pm Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Good Egg Productions wrote:
Around 3pm in August in Orlando outside.

Any time in January in Winnipeg. wink

Feb 01 13 07:08 pm Link

Photographer

myfotographer

Posts: 3389

Fresno, California, US

It isn't about time of day. It is about controlling the light you have.

Feb 01 13 07:13 pm Link

Photographer

The Signature Image

Posts: 12055

Gorham, Maine, US

High noon!

Feb 01 13 07:16 pm Link

Photographer

PTPhotoUT

Posts: 1961

Salt Lake City, Utah, US

If you don't know how to deal with the harsh shadows, vertical sun, noon to 2 pm, can suck big time. As everyone else has stated, you there are many ways of dealing with it to produce great shots.

Feb 01 13 07:18 pm Link

Photographer

Al Lock Photography

Posts: 16071

Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand

I strongly believe in planning shoots around what I want to achieve and what light I need to achieve it. Sometimes, that means shooting at dawn (one of my favorite times to shoot actually), sometimes golden hour, sometimes midday. Many people have noted that there are "work-arounds". I don't think of them as work-arounds, I think of them as ways to achieve the look I want to achieve with that shot.

Learn how light functions, how clear skies, cloudy skies and overcast skies create different lighting situations, and what you can do to modify those lighting situations - from how you position the model, to the use of scrims, reflectors, flash, shade - and how to benefit from all those options to get the shot you want to get.

Feb 02 13 03:53 am Link

Photographer

Image Works Photography

Posts: 2890

Orlando, Florida, US

Jaz S wrote:
I know I've heard over and over again that around 2pm is the worst.. (1-3). Due to harsh lighting, shadows, etc.
If that's the case, would around 11am and 12pm be around the same? Or should you really only shoot the first few hours after the sun comes up or down?
I would love your experienced opinions! Thanks!

edit: and of course I mean outdoor shoots :p

2pm on a summer day is the worst in Orlando. It gets so hot and the chances are rain are great. In any case- starting a shoot at 9am is my best liking as it is still cool and the sun is just above horizon.

Feb 02 13 07:11 am Link

Photographer

KA Style

Posts: 1583

Syracuse, New York, US

I personally dont like to shoot between 12-3. Sure you can shoot in any lighting if you use it correctly but I like early am light and after 5.

Feb 02 13 08:21 am Link

Model

Tiffiney C

Posts: 570

Los Angeles, California, US

Noon in NYC on a roof in the summer time. Sun beams full blast directly down onto a large metallic painted roof that acts as the hugest reflector you've ever seen. Also, did I mention the roofs in NYC melt in the heat. AWFUL! But it must be done wink

Tiff
www.TiffineyC.com

Feb 02 13 08:27 am Link

Photographer

Rakesh Malik

Posts: 361

Seattle, Washington, US

RacerXPhoto wrote:
Golden hour
http://www.photographymad.com/pages/vie … hotography
Unless you have enough strobe power to nuke the sun

Edit: misread it...

You can ALWAYS have enough power to match the sun, by using the sun. That is, a reflector.

Feb 02 13 08:54 am Link

Photographer

ACPhotography

Posts: 8622

Plainview, New York, US

About 12:30 in the afternoon with a southern facing beach... Yes, I had a lot of light...

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/091002/09/4ac6286798da2_m.jpg

Feb 02 13 08:57 am Link

Photographer

PhillipM

Posts: 6555

Martin, Tennessee, US

easy

The time of day, you can't handle the lighting situation.

Feb 02 13 09:24 am Link