Night Owl or Early Bird?

Sunrise 2

In photography, there is much to catch in the morning hours – sunrises, dew glistening off everything around you, and the slow to low hum of the world awakening around you.  It’s both invigorating and peaceful at the same time.  I can’t begin to recall the number of times I’ve crawled out of the cozy warm bed in the middle of the dark, all to be at an ocean beach before sunrise, to make a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park before the morning glow catches the peaks of the mountains, or to catch butterflies and other creatures before the heat of the day scurries them away.

Sunrise 1
Sunrise 1
Sunrise 2
Sunrise 2
Sunrise 3
Sunrise 3
Sunrise 4
Sunrise 4
Sunrise 5
Sunrise 5

By the same token, there’s also something to be said for the waning hours of the day and the night time coaxes us to our nocturnal tendencies.  The deep blues of the sky as the moon begins to creep over a skyline, the brilliant oranges and blues mix in unimaginable ways through the clouds, and streaks of headlights and tail lights bring a sense of motion to the darkness – they all lull us to stay up and about to catch the images the work-a-days miss.  These are what draw us out at night.  The downside is that your dinner is cold, or your spouse/significant other has already eaten and you chow down alone.  Of course, you may be eating as you pour your images into Lightroom, Aperture, or other photo editor – beside yourself with anticipation of what you’ve captured.

Night Owl 1
Night Owl 1
Night Owl 2
Night Owl 2
Night Owl 3
Night Owl 3

There are pros and cons to being either an early bird (that gets the worm), or the night owl (that gets…a cricket?).  I’ve enjoyed (and suffered) through both, but would love to hear your perspectives.  Are you a night owl or an early bird?  Sound off in the poll and the comments!

When do you prefer to capture your images?

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Five Elements of Control: #5 Composition

20160308_175946

You knew it had to come back to composition, right?  I know, everyone is screaming by now “But Jason, you’ve talked about the Rule of Thirds until the cows literally came home!”  Truth be told though, most people think about composition positioning with their subject matter.  It’s true that subjects are ideally placed on a hot spot or along one of the grid lines in the ROT grid. But you can break the rules too, ya know!  I say, put anything you want on a grid spot.  Or don’t have a specific point of interest!  Make the subject of your photo the space! Negative space, as previously mentioned, can be a powerful thing! Read more

Five Elements of Control: #4 Context

Alcohol Plumbing

Have you ever seen something that looks so out of place that it catches your eye?  Well catch it with your lens too, because contextual positioning of subjects in interesting or unusual/unexpected areas creates visual interest.  This is what I refer to as controlling the context of your subject.  So many times I’ve heard people tell me “but how can I change the surroundings?”  The answer lies not in changing the surroundings of subjects you want to shoot, butin reversing that idea:  find unusual subjects in your given surroundings.  Say you are on a photo walk and in a city area.  Well, try and find subject matter that contradicts the sense of city. Read more