She messaged me the following: “So… I tried your abstract photo technique at the beach this week and had to shoot at midday. It didn’t work and I’m sad I couldn’t stay until the golden hour. I was shooting ISO 100 and 2 seconds and tried changing the aperture a handful of times. Was it just the time of day?”
I know how she feels.
Unfortunately, it’s the time of day.
I sooo wish I were able to make my abstract photographs in the middle of the afternoon. I’ve tried several times but I can’t seem to get the look I want. So, instead, you’ll find me at the beach in the wee hours of the morning before the sun comes up, or in the evening after it has set. And yes, it definitely cramps my family time.
Why is the time of day for beach abstract photography so important?
1. Quality of Light
The light around sunrise and sunset is often softer than at any other time of day. Shadows are gentler, making your photos more beautiful.
2. Quantity of Light
It’s not as bright at dawn and dusk and that will allow you to have a longer, two second exposure. If you try to make an exposure that long in the middle of the afternoon your image will be waaay too bright and over exposed.
When the sun is at the horizon the sky and landscape turns all kinds of beautiful colours from yellow to orange to pink to red, making for a much more interesting abstract photograph.
Bonus – Fewer People
The unexpected bonus to photographing on the beach at sunrise and sunset, is that there’s less people to work around and unexpectedly walk into your image.