24 hour landscape photography guide
Digital SLRs are complex beasts, but there’s no reason at all why you can’t get to grips with them – and produce really great shots – in the space of just 1 day. Here we share 24 photography tips that’ll help you do just that. You’ll learn how to exploit the ‘magic hours’ around dawn and dusk, and discover why dragging yourself out of bed before sunrise and staying up late at night can be worth the extra effort. We’ll also share photography tips that will help you to get the best out of other times of the day, too, when most photographers hang up their gear – in the hard light of noon or the ethereal light of the moon.
Photographing landscapes at dawn isn’t without its challenges, but it often provides two bites at the cherry – one of any pre-dawn colour in the clouds before the sun comes up, and one of the sunrise itself.
1 Be a weather forecaster
Local weather conditions are incredibly important for dawn shots, so you need to do your research before you arrive at your chosen location. For our shoot at Corfe Castle in Dorset (above), for example, we were hoping for some low-lying fog, which typically forms on clear nights when cold, heavy air settles in hollows. We timed our shoot with this in mind, and made sure to keep a keen eye out for heavy dew the night before – usually a sign that the air is cold enough to condense water droplets in the air. In the end, the fog we’d been hoping for sadly didn’t materialise, but fortunately we still managed to get plenty of other great shots.
2 Do a recce
Get to know the lie of the land, because you need to determine the best vantage point, or points, for your subject based on whether you want to shoot into, or away from, the sun. If possible, it’s a good idea to do a daylight recce beforehand so that you don’t have to yomp around in the dark looking for the best spot. If this isn’t possible, take a look at the relevant Ordnance Survey map to determine where to park, which path to take, and so on.
3 Get there early
When trying to decide how early to get up, remember that the sky is often at its most colourful before the sun comes up (just as sunsets are at their most colourful in the minutes after the sun has disappeared). This means you need to be in position with your tripod set up and filters in place long before the sun actually rises. Despite timing our arrival at Corfe Castle perfectly, we still almost missed the colour in the clouds. They came and went in what seemed like seconds, and were at their most intense just long enough for us to fire off a handful of frames.
24 hour landscape photography guide | Digital Camera World