Fast Track Light

Posted by on Dec 1, 2013 in Articles | One Comment

When I was out in Death Valley National Park I spent some time before the workshop started out in the Mesquite Dunes at dawn. By the way, dawn is the best time to photograph dunes because you have the potential for wind to erase any footprints during the night before.

Out in the dunes it is possible to photograph 20 minutes or so  before direct sunlight arrives but I think the prettiest light is just when the sun first kisses the sand. But you better be quick- the light changes from subtle to slap in the face in minutes. Let me demonstrate…

Here is a shot taken at 6:37 with light just hitting the tops of the mountains.

6:37

6:37

 

Now it is 6:42 and the mountains are fully lit and there is more diffused light on the dunes.

 

6:42

6:42

20 seconds later…

6:42:20

6:42:20

10 seconds later…

 

6:42:30

6:42:30

Another 20 seconds…

6:42:50

6:42:50

Another 15 seconds…

DSCN0273

6:43:05

Another 30 seconds…

6:43:35

6:43:35

Another 25 seconds…

6:44

6:44

The lesson? Plan ahead, get ready before the light comes up, get your composition and then be patient for the light you want. After you get your shot jump quickly to your next shot that you have already thought out while you were waiting for the light to come up. If you are quick and have planned ahead you will be able to get several shots in the pretty, first few minutes of light. You can still shoot and get some good shots but your best shots will be just as the sun comes up. The first kiss- always the best one!

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Brenda
    December 8, 2013

    Always the best one, until the next one…. like dawn on the dunes, each one unique with a moment by moment beauty.

    Reply

Leave a Reply