Timing: Seasons and Time of Day
So this next section is on timing when you shoot your photographs and there's a lot of different scales to think about when it comes to timing. And the 1st 1 we're gonna talk about is one of the bigger scales we might say, is the season of timing and things to look for and consider different times of the year. All right, let's start fresh right here in the spring time. Okay, So I'm gonna go through kind of the advantages, the disadvantages, and then the tips on each of these particular situation. So obviously, in the springtime, we have the rebirth of color when we finally have some color to work with, which is always nice. And this is when flora is going to be at its peak, fresh freshness. The rivers are starting to flow from the mountains, and they're gonna be looking really good. So if you want those waterfall pictures, springtime is usually the time to be out there shooting them. And it's also gonna kind of getting to be a little bit more comfortable to shoot out there. So you're g...
onna be able to spend more of the day's out there shooting now, some of the things that I don't like about shooting in the spring is that it's well traveled kind of amateur territory. It's kind of the obvious, simple shots. And so, if you're looking for those more sophisticated shots a little bit harder to get in the springtime, in many cases there is too much stuff. It's visual overload. Everything is bursting with colors, and it's visual overload in the image. You can have some pretty unpredictable and inconsistent weather. And so it's very hard predicting the clouds and the weather and what the light is going to be and the actual peak time of when the flowers air out or when things were really blooming in budding is often a very short period of time. In fact, you know, sometimes just a week or two is when things have really gone through their best phases, and so you really have to be available to be going out there and shooting just the right times. So my tips for shooting in the spring is a rainstorm is a great time to go out. Just after it's done, it's gonna have fully just gonna look really fresh. You're gonna have those water droplets on there. Polarizer is gonna be very effective in this situation. With these colors, it's gonna help you get the most saturated, vibrant colors. Mornings are best. It seems like everything is at its freshest and everything is coming back alive. To me, it seems a little bit better than the evenings. And this is a great time to have your macro lens available because this is when those little tiny elements are gonna be looking their best. And so right here. This is springtime. This is fresh and clean, and they're not all chewed up by bugs. And it's got a very nice clean pattern to it without brown leaves or anything else. And you're only going to get this at that peak few weeks in the spring time. That's when the rivers are gonna be looking at their best. They're flowing over the widest area, went back to the same waterfall about a month after I shot this, and it was just a little drizzle coming down. A tiny looked like someone had a garden hose going down this thing, it was very, very weak and power getting out that macro lens, especially after the rain storm a great time to be shooting those elements. I do not like shooting out in the rain and we can talk about that in a little bit. So I actually have a section on that. Shooting in the rain is very, very tough. But shooting after the rain is a great time and so be prepared if it starts to raid to head out there soon afterwards, the next season. Summer, the popular season, right? And so here. We obviously have the advantage of very comfortable conditions. Toe work in at least in most places, long as it doesn't get too warm. Easy access. The parks are open, the trails air open, snows cleared off the pass up in the mountains. It's easy to get too long days where if you do have good like you could be working for hours and hours and hours all day long. And here in the Cascades and the Olympics, we're gonna have wildflowers blooming up high in the mountains. And so you can go shoot wildflowers in August, which is really nice, because normally you're gonna have to shoot them in April. The problem with it is that the foliage be starts becoming well worn in the intense heat. Bright sun for a long period of time doesn't look as fresh. It's the very busy tourist season, so you're gonna be competing with all sorts of other people and cars out there. And this potentially in some situations is long days of bad light, which means you're shooting for a couple hours in the morning and you're shooting for a couple hours in the evening. And you have the whole middle of the day where you're just waiting for the better light, and hopefully you can make good use of that time. And so we don't really have as much good light because it happens just a very short periods of time on either end of the day. So some tips for shooting in the summertime look for areas that you can't get to on other parts of the year. Just you're not gonna get those shots during the other seasons. Whatever you can dio avoid the weekends. This is when all the amateurs air out there, and so if you could take Wednesday off work, Wednesdays are better than Thursday's and Tuesdays and Tuesdays and Thursdays air better than Mondays and Fridays, because most people are working in the middle of the week, and so if you could get out there, you'll deal with less people, and you'll just have easier access. Think about those big landscapes. This is often a good time to get those big landscapes is in summer, although to be honest, you can get them at any time of year. But somewhere it could be a very easy time to get them. And this is a great time if you want to get into nighttime shooting. Staying out on a late night when it's nice and warm in your shorts and T shirt. Shooting stars is a great experience if you're in a very dark environment. So the wildflowers in bloom here in Mt. Rainier, kind of nice to be up here, avoiding the weekends. There's not as many people walking around in the background because there could be a trail right there. The snow is cleared off the trails, and it's easy to hike up real quickly to get to the areas that you want to access, and you can stay shooting at night and it's nice and comfortable and not so cold and high. You could be working for really long hours. Once you see good conditions, you can just keep on working. This is at 9 15 at night, and I still have not had dinner yet was out shooting, you know through six in seven in sunset around 7 30 But you can just keep shooting and shooting. And so when it's good, you just keep going with it. Fall time. Very popular time, obviously, because we have kind of a new type of color coming onto the scene, the leaves turning color and so you'll often end up with some of the best color of the year. In many regions, the sun is a little bit lower in the sky because we're changing positions and that can help out with lighting. Quite a bit fewer people are out there. The summer tourists have gone home a little bit more freedom and access on the trails, and you can have a little bit more interesting whether which is both a good thing in a bad thing. Timing is really critical on this hitting that fall foliage. One of my regrets about going to Morocco is that we're going during the month of October and when we come back, the leaves were pretty much all gonna be down on the ground and they're all going to go on and we're gonna miss it. It's a small sacrifice, but well worth it. But it happens over a very, very short period of time, and you don't want to be too late. It's better to have the leaves on the tree than on the ground. In most situations, you are gonna have that unpredictable weather that we had back in the spring time. And this is when access is gonna be a little bit more difficult. The parks are closed. You better check to make sure that you can get access to the park and those trails air open that you think that you want to go to that you scouted out in the summertime. And it does require a very different mindset from the summers for us what you're looking for and the types of images that you're going to get. It's just it is a different type of image. Ah, frosty morning is a fantastic time to get out there shooting. And so if you have the day off, it was a cold night and There's some frost out there. Put on that coat, get on those boots and get out there because there's probably gonna be tons of little details and close up shots. They're gonna look fantastic and potentially larger shots as well. Another good time to head out after the rain. Keep your eye on the weather forecast. Look for those rain showers coming over. Head out right afterwards. Some good elements. The polarizer is going to be once again very, very useful here. And for that best color, you better get there a little early rather than a little late, because those trees with half the leaves on them don't look nearly as good. And so some very vibrant colors using the polarizer to get the most amount out of those colors. This is when that access to certain areas is gonna become a little bit more difficult. They're gonna be blocking off some of those trails. Looking for those reflections talked about reflections in earlier section. Let's talk about winter. Winter is a great time, but it's a very, very different mindset than the other seasons. So stark and simple could be very graphic and these were very good elements that work in photographs. As I mentioned before, the snow can really transform the landscape partly by hiding just a myriad of flaws of things on the ground, but can also add those nice reflections or reflecting the light. The sun's gonna be at a much lower angle, so there might be potentially many more hours that you can work in the winter time. Then you could at in the summertime, in the same location and as I mentioned that snow makes for a great reflector, especially on trees. Some disadvantages, obviously, these are more challenging conditions to work in when it's 25 degrees out before sunrise. A lot of people have a hard time getting out that front door, but that is the hardest part. Once you get out there, you'll start realizing what you're what you have got in your potential, and you'll be looking back, all those stupid people sleeping in. I'm getting all the great shots out here. It's getting out of bed and saying, I'm going to do it. If you can get past that stage, it gets much better when you're out there. It could be a little hard on equipment. I haven't actually had winter damage. My cameras and lenses, I was told you I was working in Yellowstone minus 39 degrees. Camera seemed to work quite fine. I needed charts of battery a little bit more frequently because it's hard on it, but you do need to be a little bit more cautious about how you treat your equipment in that cold environment. Subjects are gonna be a little bit harder to find if you having snow helps out tremendously. Winter without the snow there stills. Still some great shots that you can get, and it's going to require, I think a little bit more creative high. I I think it's more challenging to go out in the winter and find great shots than it is in other times of the year. But I think those shots can have a very big payoff looking very nice. So as in this example, turning your images black and white could be a good tip getting out right after that snowfall. Whenever that is getting out first thing in the morning before everybody else has trampled over the park dress properly so that you are comfortable. One of the things that you might forget about is you might be used to going out for a walk in the morning while it's nice and cold. But you've got to think, What if you find a nice shot and you just need to be standing around for a long period of time? And you have to think, What's it gonna be like standing here for the next half hour while it's freezing? So you got to be dressing for those sorts of conditions, obviously, dressing in layers so that you can unzip as you get warm, because a lot of times you need to hike to a place you get very warm and then you're just standing around for quite a while and I will often bring a couple pairs of gloves. I'll bring a couple of hats and I'll wear both if it's really cold. If it's kind of warm, I wear one. And so being very versatile on the clothing is very important, and obviously here you have a more difficult environment to work with, and you just need to be prepared. You need to either bring food or drink on do you don't want to get yourself caught in a bad situation It's really beyond the scope of this class to get into the safety of traveling in winter environments. But it's something you obviously need to be aware of, where you are going, how you're going to get in and how you're going to get out. But I love photographing and snow. It's just a great element. As I say, it just cleans up, Ah, place. That might not look good in other parts of the season. He's shooting with that son very low, raking across that snow, creating those little bits of shadow that really give a lot more depth to the photograph, turning the images black and white, adding a little bit of contrast. This is shot with the 200 millimeter lens, which is usually the longest lens that I go out with. All right, so let's talk about different times in the day when we're gonna be shooting. So let's just break it up again. Real simple. Start with the morning time. I heard somebody mentioned earlier that there more of a sunset person than a sunrise person. Well, I've always kind of wondered, Is there a difference between sunrise and sunset? Is there a difference between morning and evening, and I think there is. It depends on the location as far as the lighting, and so far I think the advantage goes towards the morning. But it's a personal bias, and I think I'll explain it here. And so morning time, great time to shoot if it's not overcast. I know there's been some days where I woke up, and I'm like, really tired, like I really don't want to get out of bed and I look outside and it's all cloudy. I'm like, Yep, I'm going back to bed. But when it's sunny, it's like I better get out. I got a clear sky because then we're gonna get that sunlight for those grand landscapes. What I love about the morning is that a successful photography shoot often is simply because you are in the right mindset. You have the right concept, you're seeing shots and they're coming together for you. And when you get up early in the morning and you start shooting and you get yourself in a good groove, you just keep shooting. I'll keep shooting till noon time sometime, you say. Well, the lights known is good. No, I'm finding subjects that look good. And so when it's good, it just keeps going. And I love that factor. Morning gives a nice 12 hours for the snow to fall for frost to form for the due to form on the leaves, for the sand to blow clean of all the footprints from the photographers on the night before. And so that's why mornings, I think, are a little bit better than evenings. In many cases, everything kind of settles out. The footprints start to disappear, and you haven't kind of a further level of freshness going on at that case. And this is often when you're gonna have the wind at its comments, calmest to get those easy reflections. Okay, the problems with shooting in the morning Face it. It's our It's hard to get out of bed for everyone. Some people have a harder time than others. I understand that. But if you know what you're in for, it, it will give you the gumption to get out of bed. But it's hard to be in place for I mean, you're driving in the dark. You might be hiking in the dark. It's very hard to be exactly where you need to be because I know many times I've woken up. It's pure dark. I drove to the location. It's pure dark. I've started hiking. It's pure dark and I'm like, Is it really gonna be lightened by the time I get there? I'm rushing because I'm barely getting there in time. It's difficult to forsee if you haven't been scouting the location, you're getting there and you're like, I hear there's an outlook here somewhere, but I'm not sure where. And so this is where scouting really helps out because it's hard to figure things out in the darkness. The good light happens over a very short period of time, so you better be ready for your shots. I will often sometimes lineup shots. I'm going to do a wide angle shot here. I'm gonna do a telephoto shot here under the macro shot over here. As soon as the light gets good, I know exactly what I'm getting into so that when the lights changing, I found myself in this position a few times, which is it's really good. But what am I gonna shoot? I don't have a subject. I got great light. I gotta shoot right now, and you want to have your subjects lined up. You want to have your ducks lined up? You might say next access to the locations could be difficult. There certain places that they have gates, they don't allow you in. And you gotta get in at nine in the morning. That drives me nuts more. There's certain places they don't allow you to be. And so getting there, sometimes tough. So some tips for shooting? No, your sunrise, time and location know where the sun's gonna come up over the horizon. There's a lot of different apse which tell you exactly what time the sun is gonna rise. Be aware that those air slightly off, depending on trees and mountains and hillsides as to when it will hit your exact location going there the night before the day before, scouting it out ahead of time. Plan your shots. What's potential on your shot list? If you can repeat it on subsequent mornings, then you'll have a really good idea of what you're in for, because maybe the light will be exactly the same. And you'll know. Well, I wasn't there in time yesterday, but now I'm gonna be in time over here because I didn't find that subject till later in the morning. That's the way that you're going to get the best shots. And, of course, dress appropriately in layers because it's going to start off cold and you're gonna be heating up. And so you want to be ableto stripped down in many cases to more comfortable clothing, because if you're not comfortable, you're not in the right mindset for shooting. And so early sunrise in Yellowstone. This is a location that I went to about three mornings in a row, so I was. I knew what to expect and it was slightly different at each day, that freshness, the footprints are all gone in the sand dunes. It's nice and clean. It's like it's been raked clean, perfectly gonna have that great light if it's not overcast. Repeating this on several mornings allowed me to really fine tune the best location for shooting middle of the day. So the manages of the middle of the day is Hey, this is a convenient time to go out and shoot, and I always get a kick about talking with a friend. Hey, you want to go for a hike tomorrow. I hear there's some great photography locations up here. Sure thing what time you want to get started? Well, let's get started. Pretty really. How? But I pick you up at 9 a.m. 9 a.m. which takes an hour to drive their an hour hike up, will be there from to 1 a.m. All right. That's not morning time. It's convenient time to be out there, so there's lots of time to work with and which is good, in some cases, not good. In others, it's easy to get Teoh, which is always really nice, and this is where I will often be tripod optional in some cases. And this is where you may not need that tripod if you have enough light. Obviously, this is contrast in lighting. When the sun is out, it's sometimes just to contrast for shooting. There is just a lot of traffic and a lot of people out on the trails and the roads. It's hard to get around parking spots and some of the big parks. It's a very ordinary light to it. It's just kind of the average what we would expect, and honestly they are sometimes too bright conditions. You know, it's so bright that I have to sometimes bring out loop so that I can see the back of my camera to see how good the images. Because it's so bright. And I don't have no idea how people with cameras with no viewfinder can work in normal sunlight conditions in the middle of the day. I just can't see the screen easy enough. I have to have it up to the I to be able to get a good view to get good feedback about what's going on. And am I doing the right job. So some tips on shooting the afternoon. I love cloudy days for shooting through the afternoon. Nice time to be shooting details and those intimate landscapes. This is a good time to not be shooting and simply be scouting where you want to be for sunset or the following sunrise. The polarizer zehr gonna have a minimum impact here in the middle of the day in many situations, and this is a great time to just take a rest. Many times I'm getting up so early and I shoot through the sunrise. I'll come back to camp and I'll be sleeping at camp until two or three in the afternoon, and then I'll get up for my evening shoot. And so I have kind of a split schedule, you might say for working the landscapes to get out there and be out there at the best time of day and resting when it's not good life. And so those cloudy days you can work all through the day gives you lots of time to work with these shots because they're not at the critical lighting time. I didn't use a tripod for this shot, folks. People is one of the few shots I can really say I didn't use a tripod for and I was going for maximum depth of Field F 16. But because there's so much light, I'm shooting at 125th of a second, so it's very easy to handhold. Probably the most common time for people to be shooting is in the evening because they're up and they're out and it's easy to get access to those great locations. So obviously here we have the potential of great light and it's easy to see. It's kind of hard to tell a good sunrise until you're just minutes away from it. Ah, good sunset. I can predict. You know, they have weatherman who predict the weather. I could be on the news channel. I could predict with light, at least in the evening. I could say, Well, we got some clouds here and they're closely related. But being able to predict the light is a good skill that you should develop. Is, is this going to be good light? Do we have the potential for something to happen? It's very hard to predict, if any sort of precision, but you can look at the elements that have good potential. Recognizing that potential is, I've said before, so you can easily for see what's going on. And it's easy to put yourself in the right place because it's daytime. It's easy to get there. Disadvantages, obviously, as it can get very chaotic, just like mornings, things could be happening very quickly. Have your shots lined up. Don't be wondering where your subject is when the light is great. This light changes very, very quickly, and sometimes you only have about five or 10 minutes to really get the best light. When the lighting is really good. And what I hate most about evening is that once that light hits that peak point about two minutes later, it's That's it. It's over completely done with. In many cases, pack your bags go home, and it's kind of like I don't want it to end. It was good, and when it's good in the morning, you can often times just keep shooting. And if you're not careful, you'll get left out in the dark. So be careful about where you go and having the lights to get back to the car. Or however you're getting back to civilization. The graduated neutral density filters are very, very helpful. I would not want to be out there. Shooting without these. The polarizer is will be very helpful. If you are shooting inside, light this particular photograph on screen. That's not sidelight. I am not using a polarizer on that image. If you have a chance, you want to get on location early. I probably would like to be at location an hour before sunset so that I could scout out where I wanna be. What are the potentials? What's around this particular area? And of course I'm gonna bring a flashlight and probably a backup. Now maybe I'm going to stay on location and shoot star shots, in which case I can keep shooting. But in this case, I want to always be Havel to be safe and getting my travels back to wherever I need to get to. And so a few evening shots. By the time I got out of here, I was walking out of the woods in the dark. But this is something that I could easily for. C and I could easily line up many, many different shots because I could tell exactly where to go to get the best positions. Very easy to scout using that graduated neutral density filter, this is the most famous outlook. This is called tunnel Outlook on Yosemite Valley, and I think very likely there are trillions of photographs that have been taken here. There's a parking lot that they just dropped busloads of tourists off and snapping away all day long, but you come back at sunset and there's where you see all the serious photographers. Mt. Rainier up Reflection Lakes at sunset. I only got a couple of good pictures where the light was really at its peak, and you got to know exactly where you want to go working in the night. Time can be very, very challenging, and so I like doing it because it's got a very unique look. It's very different than everything else you're shooting during the daytime, and that dark is kind of like the snow. It really hides a lot of the unwanted elements, and it's nice because it has a nice, consistent light level. So once you figure out your shutter speeds and apertures, you're just making very subtle adjustments. Almost every exposure is coming out perfectly once you get it figured out, and then you also have the advantage of doing light painting, which is you know what, that's That's a whole nother creativelive class right there. But we're not gonna get in too much of that here. Obviously difficult conditions because it's very, very dark. It's obviously a little bit dangerous because you can't see where you're walking is easily so you need to have your lights out with you. You're gonna be dealing with long exposures. You're not gonna be able to shoot as many pictures, and you're gonna be standing around waiting for that 32nd exposure to end. And this is where you might need those fast lenses. Normally in the lens section, I was recommending those zoom lenses that were f foreign aperture, and they're gonna work for a lot of stuff, but they don't work so well for the nighttime stuff. 28 is probably where you need to be at the very minimum. But I like having those lenses that go down to F two or F 1.4, which really aren't necessary for most of the other work. And so I have a 24 1.4 lens. That's kind of my exclusive night photography lens that does a very good job in this case. So this is a great another tip for getting out there and scouting ahead of time. Where can you be? What's gonna look good? Using a red light on your flashlight will help your eyes stay adjusted to the dark. Light your eyes. Take about 1/2 an hour to adjust to darkness, and we use a use, a bright white flashlight that destroys your night vision and it takes another half hour to adjust for that. If you use a red light, and there's a number of red lights for working at night time. It's gonna be much easier so that you can see what you're composing as well. A senior camera and the controls on the camera. Be aware of where the moon is when it's gonna rise, when it's gonna set and be aware of your location, your route and any sort of potential dangers that are in the way or you crossing rivers on slippery bridges, things like that. You just have to take an extra layer of caution when working under these conditions. But you can end up with some really nice and unusual looking photographs that are very different than you are getting in the middle of the day. And it's a fun way to continue our photography into the night when things are good and a quick little light painting shot I did down in the Death Valley. This is the ball of confusion I use using my red headlamp in order to create this