This Thursday the family and I leave for East Tennessee for a two week vacation. I anticipate going to the Great Smoky Mountains more than a few times for the purposes of "making" photographs. Pre-planning a photo trip is a necessary evil. Often times I like the idea of “spur of the moment” decisions but when it comes to photography this isn’t always possible. Simply finding a good location is only 1/4 of the work involved. For example; the best times to photograph nature landscapes and/or wildlife during the “magic hour”. This is one hour before to one hour after sunrise and sunset. This means that some level of planning has to go into your trip. It is good to know where the sun will rise and set so that you can achieve the lighting that you are interested in capturing. If you plan on photographing critters then you have to ensure that the sun is not behind them darkening the face. With respect to landscape photography front light is not always the most appealing (sun coming from behind you) because you lose the definition that shadows provide and backlight (sun behind the landscape) can often cause a large amount of contrast leaving the scene without detail. The best case scenario would be to find a location where you can get images of the sun just as it rises or sets and then shift to an area that has the lighting from the side.
Well, as you can see I am a wee bit excited about this trip. Another milestone will be met on this vacation. I will get to take my son to his first mountain stream and let him play in the cool clear water. You can bet there will be images to follow. Thanks for reading and please understand that after Friday you may be seeing some mountainous posts! Check back soon!