In our latest photography cheat sheet we show how clouds can diffuse sunlight to create different effects depending on their size when using natural light.
When it comes to judging how cloud will affect your photos, the rule of thumb is that the more cloud cover there is, the more soft (or diffuse) the light becomes. Landscape photographers favour slightly cloudy days, as the ever-changing cloudscape means that the scene is constantly transformed.
In the illustration below we’ve shown how clouds of differing size and shape can alter the sun’s rays to create different effects in your pictures.
Click on the infographic to see the larger version, or drag and drop it to your desktop.
The deeper the cloud, the softer the light becomes.
Light clouds create semi-diffuse light with good colour and recognisable shadows.
Very diffuse lighting creates weak shadow and muted colours.
Moving clouds can also turn the sun into a spotlight, illuminating different parts of the landscape in turn.
Here, a break in the dark clouds has lit the foreground against a stormy sky for a moodily-lit final shot.
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