Most people interested in photography begin to learn that sunset is the best time of day to shoot. While most would like to get up for sunrise, many don’t. They also begin to learn why mid-day shooting is the hardest light to shoot in and thus, will work sunset into their day as the optimal time of day to shoot.
The light is certainly ideal then, but in reality, if there’s light, there’s something to shoot. One of the most underrated times to shoot, especially with cooperative weather in the area, is actually after sunset. When the last pastel hues have faded from the clouds, you’ll see the majority of people packing up their gear and heading in. Some of the most interesting shots however, can come when all that’s left is atmospheric light produced from the end of the day reflecting off clouds. Such was the case with the above and below photos. A big storm over the weekend was moving east and with clear skies to the west, all kinds of great light was reflecting off the massive and ominous clouds.
There’s a quote amongst photographers that goes “Don’t pack till it’s black,” which would certainly apply to these two photos. Even that can be made irrelevant though, because when stars come out you’re now ready to do some night shooting. The point is as long as you’ve got light, no matter how dim, there’s a photo to be made. If you’re not used to shooting in these conditions, this can make for a great creative exercise.