Get up early! Do it for a few reasons. I haven’t got up early in a while so when I did this past week on a couple of mornings I realized a few things. I realized how much I missed the peace and quiet before the ‘world’ gets going. It was so nice to be up and out the door before dawn and off towards the ocean. It was refreshing, soothing and invigorating all at the same time! As a photographer I would argue that early is the best light of the whole day. Yeah sunsets are nice (real nice usually) but a sunrise can’t be beat. At the beach the other morning were other photographers, joggers, walkers and just folks who drove up to the beach to see a sunrise. All of that was happening while you may have been sleeping. Get up early!
West Beach in Beverly, MA
And of course when you’re up early you should have your tripod. The light before sunrise will be dim so you want the best image you can get. Bring along a neutral density filter for when the sun starts rising and the light is much brighter as you may want to get that slow’mo look to the water if your at the beach. I adjust my ISO to get the ‘look’ I want usually trying to keep my aperture around f8 if possible. Sometimes I may go up to ISO 800 to get the slow’mo look I like (most folks wouldn’t think so if you’re using an ND filter!). I may drift my ISO down to 100 or 50 when it starts getting more lighter.
See what I mean? I stopped by these boats on my way home. Look how peaceful it was! So, ‘Get Up Early’ if you want to get great images. Oh, and don’t forget to take a moment……and just admire the view yourself!
Hey, when is the last time you went to a National Park? One near you? Or one far away? You Gotta Go There! We are SO lucky to have such a wonderful National park right in our own ‘back yard’ here in New England. I just got back from being there for five days and it was just wonderful. Of course it helps when the weather is as perfect as it was for us this time. Perhaps one of my best visits there regarding the weather. We had great clouds and blue sky with a dash of fog thrown in for good measure.
The ‘trick’ of course is to go early in the day. Can you say 4am? That’s what it took to get these two sunrises. http://www.robertmringphotography.com/photo/sunrise-at-acadias-pebble-beach/
But, of course it’s not just about sunrises alone at Acadia. One of my other favorite spots in the park is Jordan Pond. It’s a great little pond with two mountains at the opposite end with rocks in the foreground. How easy is that for a great photo? in this case I took a photo of an old tree that had fallen into the edge. http://www.robertmringphotography.com/photo/fallen-tree-in-jordan-pond/
Time for true confessions…..As I walk around Jordan Pond taking photos I have one thing on my mind…and that’s dining at the restaurant there so that I can have one of their signature desserts. Ice cream sundae Popover. I’m still working it off……
But really, You Gotto Go and enjoy our National Parks!
Image processing is important too! As a photographer I need to think about my ‘art’ and what I’m trying to convey to the viewer. Taking a technically accurate and proper photo with one’s camera gear is really important for an image to be successful. But, that’s just the beginning. In the ‘film days’ we clicked the shutter and sent our slide film off to be processed. You had to ‘get it right in-camera’. Today with digital photography one has some ‘latitude’ when creating an image. Take the photo….then ‘process’ it yourself at your computer to get to the final image.
Processing in my opinion is a key if not critical step as part of the overall process of creating an image that ‘feels right’. If an image doesn’t feel right then is it truly fine art? Is it complete? Will anyone be interested in looking at the image? I can’t answer that but what I can say in my own images I:
Have a strong idea as to what the final image will look like when I’m done at my computer. I usually know this at time of capture! Plan ahead….
Get the shot in as technically capable manner as possible so my ‘processing’ will be easier.
Create the final image and make sure it’s complete. I check every part of the image, color balance, overall content, the edges and all four corners. It’s all got to feel right to come together and be complete!
For the viewer of any photograph: enjoy the images you look at and try to think what the photographer is trying to convey. Enjoy their work and put your own thoughts into the image as well.
The Pink House in Newbury, MA has long been a favorite subject for me to photograph. Gee, I even have about 11 images in my New England gallery of this Pink House. Why? Simply put I like the uniqueness of its location alone on the edge of a vast Marsh. With great weather (meaning bad weather for those non photographer ‘types’) the level of interest for me is fantastic.
Something like this is a great example for a photographer to choose a subject (like a favorite subject) and re-visit it many times. You’ll be amazed how much fun it can be to go back to a familiar location and see how things have changed along with the need to think ‘creatively’ for that new or different angle.
If you’re anywhere near the area check it out in Newbury, MA.
Why a title like “You Had To Be There”? Because you really did. This image was taken at Schoodic Lake after a long day of drizzle and rain and just gray skies with no interest. That is until 6pm at sunset there appeared this rainbow (two actually), pink clouds and a beautiful sunlight on the shore to the left. I got the camera out and went into the rain and took about 3 shots before it disappeared as fast as it appeared! A beautiful sight to see. The image on your screen can’t possibly come close to what it looked like in real life. You had to be there!
One of the things I’ve learned when it comes to photography one has to be ready. You can’t be fiddling around with your camera and changing lenses or trying to find your tripod, etc. You’ve got to be ready to go especially when it comes to changes in weather.
For New Englanders: If you haven’t been to Acadia NP go! For those from outside New England: Make the trip! The diverse locations and subjects of this National Park are just fantastic. From the rugged Maine coast to a small mountain for sunrises and sunsets to a sandy beach to a stand of birch trees you can’t go wrong. Oh, and I didn’t even mention the deer and all of the various birds that frequent this park. Check it out!
Where’s the snow? This photograph above was taken a year ago in February 2015 one of our snowiest winters ever. Snow around ‘The Pink House’ must have been knee deep. Going there at sunrise was great to capture a different perspective on the often photographed building in Newburyport, MA.
This year 2016 El Nino is huge apparently so the weather patterns have changed all around the US. Here’s the ‘Pink House’ this year February 2016. Kind of looks like late spring to me! Oh well. Here’s hoping for some more snow…before it’s too late!
Yup. it happens every now and then. Foliage arrives later than expected. And that’s the 2015 foliage report for you! Vermont as a state somewhat relies on foliage but in any given year it may be lousy or late. As a photographer you can’t let the bother you. Vermont is a great scenic state and one that has lots of photographic subjects to explore and see. So when you’re there and the foiliage is lacking go for other subjects like farms with cows, sunrises and sunsets, little towns, covered bridges and lots more. That’s what we did!
There’s nothing more fun and exciting for a photographer to be chasing sunsets! I’ve done it many times and can expect to do it a lot more. This pond is near my house and it faces Westerly so it’s a perfect spot. That’s especially true if there’s no wind and the surface is nice and smooth because then you can get reflections too! Lots of fun. Lots of images. Changing skies. Changing reflections. In a short time.
So, even if you don’t have a pond or lake or ocean near your house…find one! Make it yours! Scout it out for sunsets. Knowing a location at its very best is an important thing for a photographer to do. The more times you go back to a spot the better you’ll be prepared and ready for the next time when conditions aren’t what you had hoped for. Being ready & flexible are important attributes for one to be a great photographer. Ok, go get it….
I never used to ‘chase’ thunder & lightning storms for the lightning. I’ve simply admired & enjoyed the crazy clouds that are part of these storms. But, now that I’m able to use a device to capture lightning with my camera…..well that changes everything!
I just have to be monitoring the weather, checking radar, being ready to go and getting into position somewhere there is an open space to see what’s coming. I’ve been soaked as has the camera so hand towels and my yellow slicker at the ready is a must.
I’m gonna kind of miss Summer when these storms no longer pass by….