Thursday, June 27, 2013

Midday Sunshine

I find it strange that there are books and blogs still suggesting you should put your camera away during middle of the day and wait for more colorful light near sunset and sunrise. If I did that in the Pacific Northwest, I'd be waiting for a very long time.

At one point, I believed in that idea. When I lived in California, the spectacular light seemed to arrive on schedule and it was easy to get used to the gaudy colors flooding across the landscape every evening. But there was a unintended side effect to chasing those fleeting conditions. I tended to rely on the light to make the image. Sure, the photos popped off the page with color but my compositions tended to should I put it?...unimaginative.

After moving to the Pacific Northwest, I floundered for several years. I continued to wait for the perfect light and became constantly frustrated when it didn't show up on cue. Finally, I threw in the towel and was forced to accept the gray skies or harsh midday sun that seemed to be my only options.

Guess what?  My photography actually improved. Without relying on the crisp, brilliant color of a sunset, I was forced to work harder on my compositions and focus on design more than ever before.

On Tuesday, I dropped my son off at Beach Camp and happily headed out into the midday sun. The sky was blue, waves were washing up on the beach, and some amazing clouds were floating across the Puget Sound. There was a time when I would have left my camera equipment at home during the middle of the day. I'm sure glad I stopped listening to that advice.

Edmonds, Washington

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