While it is possible to create beautiful photographs at any time of the day, if a person wants to add an element of drama, the lighting of the scene before us is very important. One magazine I read talked about 'lighting on the edge'. The transition from day to night, night to day, calm to storm. These are times when lighting can be very dramatic.
So then, to take advantage of amazing light, that means getting up early or staying out late. That means keeping up with the weather forecast and thinking ahead. Scout out your locations. Every time you are out with your camera, ask yourself, "What would this scene look like if I came here at sunrise or sunset?" Photographs that include water can be especially dramatic when the water is reflecting a sky at dawn or dusk with unique cloud formations. Arriving early (before sunrise) and staying a little later (after sunset) can also yield excellent results.
Not only can light create amazing color in the sky, but its also important to remember that light at these times of day can create beautiful foregrounds. It reveals texture and shadows. It emphasizes shapes. It gives us reflections and silhouettes. So even if the sky is not as impressive as we would like, it can still help one to create an image with impact.
I have seen images from other photographers and have said, "I wish I could produce a photograph like that". Then after thinking about it, I realize, that what is setting that picture apart from others is the light. As I learn more about photography I am understanding the importance of dramatic light and weather. It can make an image more tranquil and soft. Or it can help one create a photograph with more drama and impact. If a person experiments with lighting conditions, whether its in front of us, behind or to the side, our pictures can have that WOW factor.
The image below is of a pond that I have passed by many times. Then one evening the sky was beautiful. As I was close by, I knew I had to get to this pond before it was too late. A pond that I rarely gave a second thought to, now demanded my attention because of the light.