The Edge of Light

Taken at Panther Falls about a month ago as the sun was coming up. For the curious, there were no color alterations done to this photo – just boosted the shadows a bit and took down the highlights to even out the exposure. This is a good example of different white balances in one photo. It can be a huge problem when photographing people, or it can look really awesome to get some complimentary colours in nature photos from an otherwise pretty colourless scene.

Landscape Light 2

Often sunrises and sunsets are the best light. This light is more unusual, so it adds interest to a scene, as long as the light is not competing with other elements of your composition. I often feel like sunrises or sunsets are bandages though – something to fix an otherwise boring scene. So if you’re taking a photo of a sunrise or sunset, make sure you consider the composition as well, and what makes the foreground interesting.

Taken at sunset in Cooking Lake Rec Area last summer.

Landscape Light

People often say that direct sunlight in the middle of the day is not acceptable light for landscapes. There’s a small bit of truth to that, but don’t let that stop you from taking awesome pictures. When the light is contrasty, look for things to shoot that look good with that amount of contrast, or things that create interesting shadows. When there are clouds, look at the shapes of the clouds and look at the subtle details brought out by the soft light. All light (and lack of light) is good to shoot in, you just have to look at things differently and be aware of the light.

I’m not the guy who waits for 8 hours for the right light for a scene picked out days in advance. I’m too impatient and there’s too much to see. In that 8 hours I would have missed twenty different compositions that were perfect for the light at the time. Don’t get me wrong, being at the right place at the right time is a beautiful thing. I’m just not often willing to sacrifice a day of exploring for one good photo. Maybe someday I’ll grow up and calm down.

Shot in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba at 1:45 in the afternoon.

The Light You Can’t See

I’ve been super busy lately with everything from web design work to McBain work to photography and product design work. Which is good, but makes it hard to get out shooting. A couple days ago, I was planning on going out for the day, but got so wrapped up in other things that I didn’t make it out until it was dark. Which was interesting.

I walked out into the darkness of the Beaverhill Lake plains. And it was really dark. New moon again (I seem to time those just right), but interesting for photography anyway. I really need to get a fast prime for night shooting. These are with my 17-40 f4.

Yes, those bright, out-of-focus dots are indeed stars. It was really hard to see to compose for this picture – I had a flashlight to help out which ruined my nightvision for the next ten minutes.

Limited Light

It’s one of those fall days where you look outside and shudder. Winter’s coming. It’s dark, grey, and just below freezing in the middle of the day. It’s not the kind of day that inspires one to get outside, but once I feel the crisp bite of cold air on my face and hear the silence magnified by the foggy air, I am reminded that almost any conditions can be magical if you embrace them.

All photos taken in Elk Island National Park.

Lack of Inspiration

Sometimes a place just doesn’t talk to me. I’m never sure in these cases whether I’m just having an off day, or if the place is just not photogenic. Maybe the light is not matching up with the subjects I’m thinking of, maybe things are great but I just can’t see them. I still take photos, and work that much harder to try to get a good photo, but in the end I still feel let down. Ironically, some of my better images come from these outings, but I usually don’t find them until I’ve had a chance to distance myself from the experience.

Last week I went out to Ministik Bird Sanctuary. I’ve been there a few times before, but this time I tried a new access point (it is a pretty huge area) recommended to me by a friend. I had a good hike, but struggled with the photos. As it turns out, you don’t have to be inspired to take photos.