If you’ve ever wanted to hear a grown woman complain about sunshine, you are on the right blog. I like sunny, warm days as much as anyone, just not for taking photos. Cloudy day photography is my favorite. Whether I’m taking pictures of flowers, shooting homes for my clients, or capturing a stunning landscape, clouds of any kind are always preferred.

5 Reasons Why Cloudy Days are Awesome for Photography

A cloudy day may look dark and gloomy, but it’s actually the perfect time to practice your photography skills. Many people may think that cloudy days are gross or that it would be difficult to capture good images on these days. However, dark, gloomy and cloudy days offer great opportunities to create beautiful photos.

Shadows are Softer

Cloudy day photography, yellow flower

One of my biggest complaints about sunny days is that shadows tend to be super harsh. This means that oftentimes getting your exposure correct can be challenging. You may notice on bright and sunny days that the brightest parts of your images are super bright and blown out. Or that the darkest shadows on your subject are too dark. Shooting in HDR can help alleviate this, but you may still have issues with super dark shadows and blown highlights. A good layer of clouds, however, can help eliminate this problem. Overcast days offer light that is much softer and much less direct meaning your shadows won’t be so harsh and it will be easier to keep your highlights in tact.

Dark and Moody

Azores, Portugal
Cloudy Day Photography

Cloudy day photography is my favorite because images typically come out darker and a bit moody. And who doesn’t love a good dark and moody photo? Despite the fact that I live in Texas, this style of photography has been my go-to for years, and it’s incredibly difficult to capture on a bright day. Even if you’re shooting inside, an overcast sky makes dark and moody photography super easy.

The Whole Sky is a Soft Box

Cloudy Day Photography

Another great thing about cloudy day photography is that the whole sky becomes a soft box. If you’re wondering what a soft box is, it’s a device that many studio and flash photographers use on their flashes to help soften and diffuse the light. On overcast days, the clouds act as a giant soft box for the sun. This means the light on your subject will be diffused, much less direct and much softer. Some of my favorite subjects to photograph are plants and flowers and I love the way they look on cloudy days.

The Sky Brings The Drama

Porto, Portugal

Who doesn’t love a good sunset or sunrise? Clouds play a huge part in making those sunrises and sunsets beautiful and dramatic. They also add drama to your standard blue sky. Now, a fully overcast, dull gray sky may be kind of boring, but most other kinds of cloudy skies can do a lot to add interest to your landscape photography.

Side Note: I actually really love a dull gray, overcast sky. It may not add much in the way of interest to my photos, but the quality of light is usually nice and if you really want, you can always do a sky replacement later.

You Can Shoot with Slower Shutter Speeds

Cloudy Day Photography

Moving water is one of my favorite things to shoot. From roaring waterfalls to trickling streams, I could spend hours (or days) capturing them. And I love getting silky smooth water as it comes tumbling over the rocks. The nice thing about cloudy day photography is your shutter speeds will typically be slower. A slower shutter speed is how you capture motion blur which is all smooth water is in most shots of waterfalls. Cloudy days let you do this without having to wait for sundown.

Cloudy Day Photography Conclusion

For many people cloudy days are considered gloomy, dark and a bit miserable. However, when it comes to photography, cloudy days are awesome to shoot on. A good overcast day can offer tons of opportunities to capture beautiful images, no matter your subject.

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Hey there! My name is Leah and I'm a photographer, blogger and wanderer from north Texas. I've been doing photography for nearly a decade now and absolutely love it. My day job is real estate photographer and in my free time you can often find me at a park taking pictures of leaves and flowers. Outside of that my fiance and I love to travel. We spent nine months backpacking through Europe and now spend our free time attempting to plan and going on shorter trips both in the States and abroad.

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