9/23/11

Landscape Photography Tip #1: Lighting


 Little Presque Isle

       Get up early and stay out late! I really can not stress this point more. The photographs that typically speak to us most emotionally are the ones on the brink. By the brink, I simply mean that edge of day, the fleeting moment if you will. As humans, we know that all moments are temporary, its sad, but it also brings the level of respect into life. If we could simply relive any moment, those moments would certainly not hold as much importance to us. These small gaps of time where the light is perfect are most certainly worth cashing after.


The dramatic hues of light during the Magic Hour (half an hour before the sun rises/set and half an hour after the sun rises/set) is when landscape photographs come into their own. The scene takes on a look and feeling that can not be matched any other time of day. The clouds in the sky catch the brilliant light and set ablaze and the foreground is lit up by vibrant light. This is how we most often visualize landscape scenes in our minds eye. The drama speaks volumes to us.

My advise is to leave early enough to be able to spend some quality time connecting with the scene, as well as, set up your gear with plenty of time to spare. Even if you are not a photographer, I guarantee you will be moved every time you see the natural world during the magic hours of light.

Note for photographers: Look into Neutral Density (ND) filters (the amount density you choose depends on how much you want to slow the shutter speed, you will need an Intervalometer if you want to shoot longer than 30 seconds), these will help you manipulate the clouds passing overhead, to washout the water, Etc.... I use these filters to enhance a sense of time in my photographs. I work as hard as I can to visually express the thoughts and emotions I had while viewing the scene at the moment of capture.

Technical details: Canon 7D, Canon 10-22mm lens (@16mm) 3-stop neutral density filter, 3-stop graduated neutral density filter, ISO 100, F/14, Three shot HDR

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