The colour of the light varies throughout the day, most noticeably at dawn and dusk when it takes on a warm hue. Also at this time of day, a low sun angle gives deep shadows, which bring depth to an image. It is no wonder therefore that photographers aim to be out in the “golden hour”, the hour after dawn and the hour before dusk.
The three images below demonstrate how the light can change rapidly as the sun rises. These were taken at 6:13am, 6:37am and 6:49am:
Weather also has a big impact on the light, with clouds usually a must in any landscape photograph. Not only do they bring interest to the sky, they also break up the light falling onto the ground to give contrast between light and shade.
The next two images demonstrate the difference clouds make in a scene. They were taken 5 days apart and both around dusk. The scene without clouds has a calm feel about it, whilst clouds in the second scene impart a sense of drama.