As landscape photographers, we’re constantly in search of great light, especially at sunrise and sunset. It’s what’s known as the “golden hour” or “magic hour”, and it’s when some of the most awesome landscape photos are made. It’s kind of like the holy grail of landscape shooting you could say. It’s what drives shooters (myself included) to pry themselves out of bed at ridiculous hours of the morning to get themselves out to remote locations in time to shoot a sunrise. When it all comes together, it truly can be magical, and the resulting photos are worth every wink of lost sleep and effort that went into making them. Notice I said “when” it all comes together though. That’s because most of the time, it just doesn’t happen. It’s not like some types of shoots where we can just pull out a light and point it at our subject, add gels or change modifiers, and dial in exactly what we’re looking for. We’re kind of left to what mother nature gives us and we don’t get much choice in the matter.
So what do you do when the light show just doesn’t happen? I’ve been trying to make the most of my time out shooting lately and really trying to shoot for the conditions. As I wrote in my last post, you just have to look for the right subject matter that will work with the light you have. It involves a certain level of open mindedness and flexibility when you’re out there shooting, and it’s something I’ve really been working on lately. I’ve found that opening your eyes to what’s around you and what looks good in the light that’s there is a great way to bring back more keeper images on each trip out.
Here are a few detail shots I brought back from the my last trip out after getting foiled on the sunrise.
Thanks for looking!