Getting good pictures in the shade?

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bokemon Regular Member • Posts: 413
Getting good pictures in the shade?

Hello folks,

I do a bit of walk-around photography, which means I just take pictures of random things (not people, though) like houses, trees, flowers, buildings, etc.  Most of the time these walks extend into the early evening, i.e. before and after sunset.  I have had consistently bad luck getting good pictures when things are in the shade.  So for example:

A peaceful Thomas Kinkade house with lots of flowers around, but the sun has just set, or the sun is behind the house.  The scene, as I see it, is very peaceful and melancholic.  The picture turns out to be very flat and boring, and the sky is completely blown out.  Any way to "fix" a picture like this after it is taken, or is this just a situation where you would not bother taking a picture because the lighting is not "right"?

Example #2, just a bunch of flowers.  In the late afternoon, if I can get the golden yellow sunlight to hit it just right, it turns out ok, but right after sunset everything again turns out to be flat and boring. Sometimes I can make it look less awful by decreasing the color temperature (more red / yellow), lift shadows, saturation / contrast, but I don't know too much what I am doing here.  At some point, I meant to practice using an off-camera flash + diffuser + yellow reflector to try to fake late afternoon sun, but usually I don't carry these things with me.

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