How to Handle Harsh Light in Landscape Photography

No doubt, most of us love the soft, warm light afforded by the golden hour, but simply put, a lot of the time, you will head outside with your camera and be greeted with harsh, unforgiving light. That does not mean you should simply pack your camera in and head back inside; in fact, you can make images that are just as great in harsh light, and this awesome video tutorial discusses what to do when you encounter that light. 

Coming to you from Adam Gibbs, this great video tutorial discusses how to handle harsh light in landscape photography. Although a lot of us do not particularly care for such light, I do not think it is any less useful than soft light. In fact, I truly believe that one can make great images in any kind of light, but that we often get hung up on trying to make certain photos that the light at hand is not conducive to. If we learn to embrace the available light at a given time and location and make photos that make sense in that kind of light, we can always come home with something worthwhile. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Gibbs.

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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Rick Pappas's picture

The title has to do with photographing in harsh light. His idea of dealing with harsh light is to find somewhere where the light isn't harsh. I guess that's one way of dealing with tough light, but from the title, wasn't what I expected. This is mostly a photo slide show of this guys images. Beautiful as they are, they weren't taken in what I'd call "harsh" light. Filtered light through the mist of a waterfall, waterfalls in the shade...that's not what I call "harsh" light. You want "harsh" light? Come to California's Central Valley. There's no hiding from it here.

Brian Bush's picture

I find shooting black and white with contrast to emphasize the dark shadows is one way around the harsh light. Just my two cents!

William Kocken's picture

I agree with Rick. His solution is to go into the shade and shoot waterfalls.

William Kocken's picture

Good idea I’ll try that!

Nick Yambura's picture

Amen to Rick. Notwithstanding this guy’s extremely high opinion of his photos and questionable choice of distractingly redundant massage parlour music and volume, I don’t see how this qualifies as an instructional video at all. Other than briefly mentioning undesirable light, the entire video didn’t provide any advice on how to actually deal with it. I really hope his paying clients get more “instruction” than provided here…