I have been chasing “good light” for the last few years now in my photography. When I first started shooting I was simply chasing photos. I would head out the door, cameras strapped to me, and I would just shoot shoot shoot. And that was fine. Those days of amassing large numbers of photos each week are what taught me how to expose properly, when to worry about shutter speed and aperture, when and why I might want to bump ISO or use exposure compensation.
Ahh the good old days of inexperience.
Cut to today and I find myself in a different place when it comes to how I approach shooting. I am a bit slower, a little more thoughtful of not just what I shoot, but WHEN I shoot. And I am not just talking about photos below where “the decisive moment” (thank you Henry Cartier Bresson) is the right time to shoot. I am talking about waiting for the LIGHT to be right. There is a difference.
A good example of what I am talking about was what I encountered the evening of September 20th 2014.
There were a series of storms moving through the region just to the south of me and I was tempted to chase after them for the opportunity to shoot some stormy clouds. My past experiences told me to not pursue the storms, but to wait for them to pass. Given that the time was close to sunset and the the back side of the storm system was clear, I knew that when the storms passed, they would be illuminated by the setting sun. And THIS is exactly what waiting for the light is all about. Below are a couple of images shot after the stormy weather had passed, and the sun began to set and illuminate the sky from a low perspective.
So I ask you to give this exercise a shot. When you have gotten comfortable with your camera, and you know when to shoot with what settings, I ask you to spend a few days just following the light, getting to know it, understanding when IT can become the star of your photo, and not just another one of the actors.
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