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!
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.
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!
But you know what? I don’t always have my camera or any camera with me. My cell phone? Yikes! Do I really want to use my cell phone to get shots like this ‘Big Rock’? Ah, no. I have a few great cameras. They range from 16 megapixels to 36 megapixels. I don’t have them with me all of the time. Maybe I should. I splurged and got myself a small point’n shoot to have in my jacket pocket. And you know what? Without it I could never have got an image like the one above or the one here:
I hope not! Ok, much to jeers from most folks out there I wouldn’t mind some more snow before it’s over! If it’s the end then OK. But I’m glad I chased the snow storms as best I could to shoot snow images through the many storms we’ve had this Winter. Yeah, I’m ready for Spring but I do find Winter to be fascinating in its own way.
OK, real reason why I want more snow? To beat the Boston, MA all time “in recorded history” snowfall amount. We’re only a couple of inches away. Let’s go for it!