Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Weekly Photo (Week 19)

High Noon Photography

This weeks photo was taken during that period when the sun is highest in the sky. Photographers are admonished to avoid this time of day – the light is harsh, the shadows dark and deep, the angle of the light is unflattering … All that is true, but even the high noon time sun can provide some magical light and allow some subjects to be at their best.

The photo for this week is a leaf. There are other leaves in this picture, but the high sun played just beautifully with the texture of the central leaf.


No trickery or post-processing magic here, just light and shadows. I loved the way the structure is highlighted and edged with wide shadows.

WallThe texture of vertical object can be well photographed with the high sun angle. A wall, like here in flat light, shows the colors but essentially nothing of the texture. Light at a steep angle can bring out the real look and feel of these walls as shown in the next two images.

The high-angle light makes walls look very realistic and brings out the dimensional characteristics.

Wall at Noon


The high, noon-time sun may not work at all for portraits of people, but don’t dismiss this kind of light as too limiting. Many subjects can be well photographed in the overhead sun. Mid-day is not just for siestas, so squint if you must, but look for picture opportunities. Here two more images to show that harsh down-light can be flattering after all.



Click on the images for better views.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck


  1. Hi Ludwig, I agree with your comments about high noon shooting, but my preference is for those overcast days or late afternoon when I don't have to be conned with sun placement. The duck showed well in his portrait.

  2. Thank you, Beatrice. Late afternoon is also my favorite time, the light tends to be magical. Sometimes, of course, there is no choice, and one just has to make the best of it.