Why You Should Embrace 'Boring' Light More Often

You might think that the best landscape images are made with dramatic, hard light that casts arcing shadows across the land. And while that can certainly make for great images, you might be surprised to learn why flat, "boring" light can actually be a landscape photographer's best friend.

Coming to you from Nigel Danson, this great video discusses why flat, "boring" light can be such a useful thing for landscape photographers. Personally, one reason I love flat light is the massive amount of post-processing latitude it gives you. Today's cameras have a vast range of file latitude, and when you start with a flatter file, you can really shape the final edit to your liking, especially through dodging and burning to bring more emphasis to your subject. It can be much more difficult to drastically shape or alter the light in a photograph with harsher light, as it tends to be more "baked into" the scene. This is the same reason why a lot of natural light portrait photographers love an overcast day. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Danson.

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

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8 Comments

Hi Alex, you might want to set a link to "this great video" too? Cheers! -jan

David Pavlich's picture

This sort of light works well if you wish to convert to B&W for the same latitude in post processing.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Great observation. I sometimes find myself tempted to bump up contrast in "boring light" images to make them look more dramatic and "sunnier", and I have to remind myself that not everything has to look that way. One of my most popular images has extremely flat light, and that's an essential aspect of the image and its success.
https://zenfolio.page.link/BMf9L

Nigel Danson never fails to come up with great instructional videos, and the production values are also amazing.

Stuart Carver's picture

You ever thought they might want to convey a story with video and pictures... you seem to enjoy complaining a lot.

Steven Magner's picture

What country do you live in where you’ve avoided the Coronavirus pandemic? I have way too much time on my hands.