Blog

Short blog posts, journal entries, and random thoughts. Topics include a mix of personal and the world at large. 

Landscape photography involves a lot waiting

The branch of photography I participate in is landscape photography, and the name of the game is waiting. Lots of waiting. To get the best light, to wait out strange weather patterns, and even the general public getting out of the shot, a hearty dose of patience is prerequisite to doing landscape photo work. 

And that can get tiring indeed.

Everyone knows the best light is the hours around sunrise and sunset: blue hour and golden hour, respectively. Getting shots during golden hour isn’t a problem because I’d simply stay out as long as needed. Blue hour however is slightly more difficult because the I'll have to break my circadian rhythm. Bad enough that sunrise is wicked early in the morning, but you have to factor in travel and setup time in addition to that, so obviously there's not going to be much sleep. 

In the trip to Korea last year, in order to get a sunrise shot up on this crater, we had to wake up at 3am because it took an hour to get to the location and another hour to hike up the mountain. Exacerbating the situation it was summer so blue houra was quite a bit earlier than it would’ve been during winter. Well worth the effort but I’m not sure I can do that constantly: I value a proper night’s sleep above a lot of things. 

So golden hour it is for me. 

Then I would pray the weather gods cooperates. This past weekend we wanted to take some sunset hour photos of the Golden Gate Bridge but San Francisco’s famous fog spoiled the party. The entire ocean-facing side was covered in clouds, not giving the sun rays a chance to poke through. Were I adamant about capturing this I would’ve needed to return another day under more favorable weather. 

It’s super time involving, but I love the solitude and peace when I’m out in the field, especially away from the bustle of the city. Something about setting up shop somewhere, music in my ear, and waiting for the perfect moment to appear before the lens: it’s thoroughly meditative. 

Perhaps instead of planing to buy another sports car I should instead purchase a rugged SUV and go overlanding for landscape photos. A thing to think about. 

 When the sun isn't cooperating you go long exposure with an ND filter. 

When the sun isn't cooperating you go long exposure with an ND filter.