A nice clear day is a welcome change around here since it has been practically raining or cloudy for the past week or so. Unfortunately a nice clear day isn’t good for my photography since I often have to shoot during midday, due to my work schedule. On dark cloudy days the lighting is even and soft. On clear sunny days the lighting is bright and directional. A good thing when shooting during the late afternoon or morning hours but not much in between. That is why I try to focus on smaller elements instead of the big picture. Landscapes are generally out of the question because the “golden hour” is usually spent working or traveling.
So on days like this when I have to shoot at the “wrong” times, I think black and white. In my opinion, black and white usually works better than color in harsh lighting. The directional light creates strong contrasts which work well in B&W. I like to emphasize those contrasts even more when shooting, by using a polarizer to darken the sky, or in post processing, by adding red or yellow filter simulations. The sky was almost totally blue today and just didn’t look nice in the color versions of todays photos even on the windmill photo where I used a polarizer. But when I converted to black and white using Nik Silver Efex and utilized a red filter effect, the sky darkened dramatically and created a nice contrast against the white structures. Pentax K20D, DA17-70, DA55-300.
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