Oct 26 2012

Let it rain (or go dark)

Posted in Landscape Photography, Photos by Excursion Leads, TipsNo Comment

Over fifty photographers stand at the lake’s edge anxiously waiting for sunrise to click the shutter at the precise moment when the early rays fill the sky with the most intense colors that cannot be described by mere words.

Imagine the collective gasp when at first light you notice there will be no magic because it is completely overcast, and actually some sort of moisture in the form of rain begins to fall on your gear.

Out of the fifty or so photographers, 48 begin to pack it in.  Not you.  Why not you?

Well, you are looking at all sides of the scene and notice that the totally overcast sky is actually acting like a giant scrim, softening and reflecting whatever light there might be.  You stare back to the East and notice there is a bit of pink beginning to show before the sun has risen above the horizon.

A bit of pink lit from one area through a giant diffuser… mmmm.  Just in case, let’s get the camera ready. Shower cap or whatever protective gear you have over the setup, but ready for that moment should it occur.

You shoot some images every couple of minutes to make sure your metering is accurate (or very close to) and you adjust for the additional light.  You are ready, but will nature cooperate?

The suddenly the few pink rays turns into a completely pink sky and voila……

Mono Lake, California

Two minutes later and the color had disappeared.

No luck, well maybe a little bit. A lot more patience and a bit of pre-visualization than luck – that is for certain!

Unlike wildlife photography, shooting landscapes is completely dependent on all the elements coming together at the right time.  Having said that, there is nothing like seeing a big cat devour its prey mere yards from your lens!

Here is another photo that was carefully composed at least an hour before the right opportunity arose at sunset to click the shutter on the Nikon D4. This is a single image, no HDR! Had the storm blown a few miles to the east, nothing spectacular would have been captured.

Chihuly exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum with a storm approaching from the northwest

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