Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chasing the Light, Fantastic

Perhaps the key to a great landscape photo lies not in knowing where to take the image
but when. This is why I think the phrase “Chasing the Light” is perhaps one of the most
important concepts I’ve come to appreciate as a landscape photographer. Photography is
all about light, the direction, color, and the quality of the light, whether it is hard or soft. I
first heard it from photographer Galen Rowell some years ago. I’ve come to appreciate this so
much that I now call it “Chasing the Light, Fantastic”.

The ideal light for landscape photography is usually up to a couple of hours after sunrise
and a couple of hours before and up to and including sunset. I know of one great
landscape photographer who says he will not shoot between 10am and 2 pm, considering
it a waste of time. However you define it you would find it best to plan your photographic
outing when the sun is low in the sky, a warm brilliant bathing light!

Chasing the morning light!

“Catching the light at Cape Spear”

Catching the Light at Cape Spear

Chasing the Light can turn the most mundane of subjects into objects of interest. Just this
past summer I was driving down the coast in the evening chasing the light and as I turned
I noticed how nice two utility poles on the corner looked, all because of the beautiful
warm light of the late evening sun. In hindsight this might have made a very nice abstract
image but I’m not into abstract photography and continued on my way hoping to capture
an image of a subject matter more to my liking.

Chasing the evening light, a simple park trail,

“Waiting for Jupiter”

Waiting for Jupiter

While I do believe every “rule” should be pushed or even disregarded as we try new
things and explore new ideas, “Chasing the Light, Fantastic” is an idea which if followed
will lead to some great images.

Please leave comments and share ideas, it’d be great to hear from you!