Low winter light. It’s powerful, clean and almost explosive at the ends of the day. Especially if the cloud cover is broken or there are almost clear skies. I got lucky last week. After a day of rain, the sun broke through at just about dusk.
Man, did it break through. It was powerful. It was golden. It was contrasty. Deep, rich shadows were everywhere. My kind of light. The kind of light we rarely see in Southeast Louisiana.
When we were exiled to New Mexico after the storm, I saw this kind of light almost every day. Many New Mexico-based photographers never bothered with it. It was too common. But, when there was rain or snow in the forecast you’d see us scrambling around photographing everything in sight.
Sometimes, we didn’t.
It was too cold. Or, wet. Or, hot. Or, something.
So many missed opportunities.
That’s probably the moral of this story. Time is short. Even if you are young and think you have years and years and years to go. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’ll get sick. Or, your parts will start to age early. Or, something violent may happen. Or, or, or…
This all started with a couple of comments and replies with another blogger. She was talking about not going out in the rain and wet, mostly to protect her gear. Gear is protectable and replaceable. Pictures only happen when they appear in front of you. Yes. You might soak a camera. Usually, you can dry them out with the old “gear in a bowl of rice” trick. If that fails, you can probably declare it scrap and buy something newer and better. If you are going dry it out, just do it quickly before moisture can seep into the circuitry. Then the camera is done.
You? You’ll just get wet. My hair is really soft after it’s been rain soaked. Ha, ha, ha.
The picture. See it and react. You’re going to get tired of me saying a version of that. Like F8 and be there. Or, see it and press the button. As I said to another blogger, I love baseball. A batter practices and practices until swinging at the ball is a reaction without a thought process. Same thing with making pictures on the street. When you see it, photograph it. No second guessing. No trying (You know what Yoda said about that). No self editing in your head.
Just take the picture.
Oh, about camera settings prior to “just taking the picture.” If you must, go to auto everything. Remember that the camera will take a little time to think as it tries to focus. You are faster than the camera. If you learn a little about light you can pre-set your shutter speed and aperture depending what you are trying to do. I can discuss this further if you’d like.
Have a great week.