I enjoy the use of soft light, in any circumstances and especialy here in landscape. I am drawn to detail within any image and soft lighting is always going to allow me the opportunity of finding it. Harsh directional light blocks up shadow detail, and while not difficult to modify with fill lighting and process manipulation, it is a compromise.
No 1Photograph No 1 shows soft light provided by an overcast sky that is slightly directional. Here the thicknes of the cloud is weak (due to the low angle of the sun). The unlit background provides an interesting alternative to a sky and holds sufficient detail in the receding tones of the slight haze.
Photograph No 2 uses typical flat overhead bright light from an overcast sky. The softness of the light compliments the softness of the tone within the landscape. A harsh high contrast light would reduce the shadow detail, produce unwanted reflections from the river and reduce the saturation in the colour.