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Photography tips

A journey in Photography and sharing of how I go about taking various types of photos. Discussions include software and camera equipment and how to make the most of your equipment in a given situation.

Timing is everything

12/04/2007 12:36

I had a message from a friend a few days ago mentioning that there was a particular rural scene that might have photographic potential. He was driving thru the area and didn't have his camera or the time to explore the possibilities. As this location is only about a 1/2 hour drive, after work I headed out with my camera to see what I could make of it.

The Area was a rural spot where they had just finished baling hay. The hay bales were either on the ground or stacked up in the paddocks. When I got to the area, I spent almost 2 hours taking photos from several spots and ended up with around 100 shots.

On the day, I was actually very fortunate with the sun (and therefore the light). It was late afternoon and the sun was fairly low, but there was a lot of broken cloud. The broken cloud was not only good to give me interesting sky, but also because the light was shining thru the clouds which made for some spectacular lighting.

Now, I'll get to my point! the sun shining thru the clouds put some very bright patches of light onto the ground and several scenes changed literally within minutes. The light went from fully overcast to almost spotlight qualities. I saw several opportunities and took several photos only to wait a couple of minutes and get something that was even better.

I have grabbed just a couple of my photos of almost the same scene that were taken around 1 minute apart that demonstrate just how big of a difference the lighting can impact a given scene.

The first photo was taken at 5:18pm

The photo itself is not bad, with the open farmland, a stack of hay bales, with a row of trees behind.

But just 1 minute later, a break in the clouds turns the very boring flat lighting into something else altogether.

With the light just on the haystack it totally transforms the scene!

Now If I didn't have the patience to literally hang about I would have missed this opportunity and only had the photo with the very boring flat lighting.

Both of these photos were taken with a very long lens - I used my 1.4TC + my 50-200 zoom - giving me 283mm (or 566mm equiv to 35mm film).  The longer focal length not only got me "closer" to the main subject, but compressed the depth of the scene quite a bit as well.

These photos were shot RAW, but because I got everything right in camera they required very little processing - mostly just a little bit of sharpening and resizing.

As an aside, when shooting landscapes we normally consider normal to wide angle lenses. Quite a while ago, I used some long focal lengths to take landscape photos and was pleased with the results. Since then, I have not dismissed out of hand the possibilities of using longer focal lengths for landscape photography

I almost forgot - if you want to take a look at the rest of the photos - head over to my Gallery


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