The idea that “You can’t take pictures now! The light is way too harsh!” is a bunch of crap. You can take pictures any time of the day in any lighting conditions. You have to use the light in many ways and some are far more pleasing than others! 🙂
The 5:16PM sun was streaming through our gigantic south-west facing window yesterday evening. It was nearly golden light as it was so rich and warm. BUT, the sun was also low on the horizon as it approached its setting – giving wicked shadows and brutal contrast. The ticket to making pictures happen (and I am NOT saying it makes for optimal pictures) is to break the rules. Put the subject between you and the sun. Shoot right into the light and see what happens! It’s crazy mayhem to say the least! I was fortunate that the bright light was also bouncing off the north-east wall in our house providing this really warm fill light to help illuminate my beautiful subjects. 😉 Are you going to get blow outs? Yep. It makes for some wild & ugly histograms! For pixel peepers, these shots are garbage. But you can still make pictures happen, regardless of the light and the time of day you have to make them.
These shots are inside my living room, all handheld with my 50mm f/1.8 lens. Are they optimal? No, not really. But they do give some really cool highlights/backlights that challenge the photographer to nail the exposure in less than optimal natural lighting conditions.