Today I got up early (!) and decided to go to St Thomas Aquinas church which is not far from my house and dink around with the camera as the sun came up. I threw in an added challenge - the dark statue in the foreground. An unexpected challenge - sprinklers - also entered the mix. It was interesting to see how things changed as the sun came up and light fell upon them. I started about 20 minutes before sunrise and shot until the sprinklers behind me came on (about 6:30). I didn't do any editing to the photos.
My goal was to study the light and take lots of pictures as the sun rose higher. Because of that, the photos aren’t very artistic. I find I’m still too obsessed with understanding exposure to think about whether I’m using the “rule of thirds” or if I should change the depth of field. I know that some people are just a natural at taking good pictures, but I’m going to have to work a little harder. Hopefully, the more I learn, the more second nature all of that will be.
So what did I learn today?
- Photographers call the time around sunrise and sunset “The Golden Hours” for good reason.
- The light is best just after sunrise, not before.
- I need to pay attention not just to how the light falls on the subject but how it falls around it. (I had some really nice exposures that unfortunately included my shadow!)
- Your camera meter is often just a starting point. Sometimes the best exposures are a stop up or down.
- Because my camera only has a viewfinder and I can’t frame my picture using the LCD screen, I need to concentrate on what’s in the viewfinder and see what the camera sees.
- I need more patience. I’m getting there, but I need to take more time and be more attentive to the method instead of just anxious to see the results.