A clear sun just above the horizon sharpens up any landscape, but there are risks
This type of lighting is naturally attractive and naturally popular for landscapes because of the way in which it sends long bands of light and shade across the scene.
As with the other, smallerscale raking-light situations, it depends not just on the sun being low, but also on really clear air. As the sun gets lower, its light has to pass through much more atmosphere than when it’s shining straight down onto the land, and this acts like a softening filter. On top of this, haze and pollution tend to hug the ground, so that those last few degrees often see a rapid softening of shadow edges. In practice, this means that what looked like a bright day an hour before sunset unexpectedly becomes almost shadowless three-quarters of an hour later. The lesson here is not to expect the crisp light to last for a moment longer than you can see it, even though hanging on until the last minute is what most of us do in these conditions. The answer is to start early and keep shooting as the sun drops towards the horizon, because the frame you just shot may well turn out to be your best.
From a distance, rice ready for harvesting takes on an almost fur-like texture in late afternoon sunlight, while the terraces cast distinct shadows
Low sun and the clear air of th e 5 00 0 - m etre plateau of western Tibet give a crisp tex ture to the hills