Monday, January 13, 2014

Tomorrow Isn't Just Another Day

Another Michigan wintry weekend of unpredictable lighting conditions created havoc on 'what to photograph.'  Or did it?

Instead of being frustrated in the field, yesterday's gray, non-existent lighting made it easy to stay inside and update my website

Sweet, hungry Titmouse
Nikon 7100, Sigma 150-500, f/8, ISO 250 1/640 sec
What-to-do in bad lighting advice came from a nature photography workshop led by Steve Gettle.   I used the time to update watermarks on 80% of my images in the site.

Today presented wonderful lighting on the melting snow with a pale blue canopy overhead.

Unfortunately, nothing extraordinary was captured. Nothing had inspired me.

The icy path at Cranbrook Academy's campus was treacherous.  A nearby trail that I enjoy photographing had icy brown patches, no luck there.  Thankfully, the the Lloyd A. Stage Nature Center in Troy, Michigan provided some feisty bird activity on their feeders.  

Still, this was not how I envisioned the day.  The reality was I had no vision for the day and that was the problem!  I wasted precious photography time.

Baby It's Cold Outside
Nikon 7100, 150-500 f/8 ISO 250 1/100 sec
When I consider my most fruitful adventures in the field, they are the ones I had mentally pictured prior to the actual day.  Nothing time consuming other than internally composing the subjects, image, the look and the feel I wanted to capture.

Knowing the weather conditions, the timing, location of the sun and moonrise is also important.  It takes about 30 seconds to view both apps: Yahoo Weather  and The Photographer's Ephemeris.

A  basic plan and the right tools can make a difference in your creativity, productivity and emotional satisfaction.  Then any deviation from that plan is based on unplanned, awesome photographic opportunities.

And when the conditions aren't optimal?  Use this time to work on your websites, overdue edits and most important, creating a mental plan for your next journey.

Happy Shooting!