September 14, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Shooting before sunrise can be tricky but rewarding. The tricky part is that such images may look a bit lifeless without sunlight. At times they may look flat. These images may also appear cold. This is why the time before sunrise is called the blue hour. If we photograph scenes that should look warm and vibrant this time of day is probably not best. However, the blue hour may also be rewarding to shoot if paired with the right scene.

The majority of this image looks cold, but that suits the scene with a lake and clouds. The cold look is taken advantage of rather than being a problem. Yet, I wanted to create some color tension which I introduced by waiting until the sky (or part of it) showed some warmth. During post processing I also brightened and warmed up the walkway and deck in the distance. It is important not to overdo it to remain looking natural.

          There are a few things to look out for when taken images such as this.

  • Make sure that structures and water are level.

  • Make sure that there is good separation between objects. In this case, it is easy not to pay attention to the right railing of the deck. If that railing makes contact with the reflection of the tree in the distance they will look merged. This ruins any depth that you may have in the image. So make sure that you leave gaps between objects to separate them and to create depth.

  • Smooth out the water to better suit the scene. In this case there was no wind leaving the water like a mirror. If, however, there was some wind causing ripples you can smooth that out beautifully by using neutral density filters to get a shutter speed between 10 and 30 seconds. There is no need to have your shutter speed longer than this for the purpose of smoothing the water. This creates a bit of an ethereal look but pleasingly so.

As I have said before. Different weather or kinds of light does not rule out photographing as long as you carefully chose what to shoot that suits the weather conditions or the kind of light. Even harsh, middle of the day, light can be used effectively to show heat and drought if pairs with the right scene that calls for that kind of light. So don't put the camera away, find what works with the conditions or light.

Go out and photograph.


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