If you’re going to get up pre-dawn to take a photo, it’s good to know where you’re going first.

Preparation has to be at least … 25% (if not more?) of a photographer’s shot. If you think about it, each type of photography requires its own set of preparations whether it’s the photojournalist knowing where they need to be for their shot, or the portrait photographer having a studio set up properly to most efficiently capture their subjects (especially if you’re charging by the hour.) Though I do not consider myself a photographer, I think for landscape photography that step one would be: Know where you’re going.

I failed desperately last weekend when I couldn’t remember where the hell certain tidepools were near San Pedro and ended up at the wrong place just before sunrise. Though it’s frustrating to get up at 4something in the morning to find yourself in the wrong location, I did my best to make the best of it even though the landscape where I ended up wasn’t terribly inspiring.

I’ve gotten a lot better at knowing how to manipulate my settings to get what I want out of exposure, which is a huge improvement over where I was about three months ago. Now my concentration when setting up for a shot can focus on things like composition, something I feel I’m still lacking when setting up shots. Clearly by the photos in this blog.

Sunrise during the summer months in southern California can be… lacking. Our clear blue skies are often hazy and don’t make for the most interesting context. I was hoping on this particular day I’d see some “June Gloom” near the coast to make for more interesting colors in the sky for sunrise. No luck, it was clear, of course. (June Gloom is a summer weather phenomenon in which it’s cloudy/foggy along the coast and up to 25 miles inland on bad days. I read only about 50% of days are sunny and clear during May and June in the L.A. area, making for a shit start to summertime.)

Lessons/accomplishments from this shoot were twofold: 1) I made the best of where I was without getting super pissed, and 2) I felt good about understanding my settings for exposure and felt like I could confidently move on to trying to frame a more interesting shot.

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1 Response to If you’re going to get up pre-dawn to take a photo, it’s good to know where you’re going first.

  1. Pingback: Getting creative with a fisheye & Know your plants! | Less Than Amateur

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