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!
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!
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….