Inspiration: October Light
Photography in autumn
It’s 06:45 hour on a late October morning. Autumn is slowly gaining momentum. It’s late this year. Again. One of the best seasons of the year seems to keep starting later and getting shorter. But for now, it’s here. So let’s embrace it. The forecast predicted quite a bit of fog, but looking out of my window at home, it looks to be clear. It’s still dark outside but I can see some stars in the sky. So I know it’s game on. Half an hour later I drive south towards a location close to home called “The Onlanden”. It’s a relatively new nature reserve. Just a few years ago it was agricultural grassland, but now nature can have its way with it. And in a short amount of time it has been transformed into a beautiful natural area.
It may be beautiful scenery to look at, but finding a good spot here is not an easy task. Composition wise such landscapes are chaotic and often lack the kind of elements and balance we landscape photographers love so much. But I love a challenge and looking at the weather conditions, it looks like the light will give me a helping hand. I love October light. It has such a crisp and clear feel to it. Colors seem to be brighter everything seems to get a little bit more punch. Especially with conditions like this, when dark clouds and bright sunshine giving great contrast to the landscape.
Tilt and shift lens
Working in such conditions can be challenging. The sun rises quickly and there is just a short amount of time when the first rays of sunlight stream across the landscape. As I quickly set up my gear, I notice how quiet everything is. Wind is almost completely absent and the cold and crisp air gives everything a very calming and tranquil mood. I choose to use my Canon TS-E 17mm tilt and shift lens to get a wide angle and to be able to use as much depth of field as possible by tilting the lens just a bit.
Weather is so important
A small gap in the clouds at the horizon gives the light just enough room for a few exposures. Then the window of opportunity is gone again. The sun disappears behind the clouds. The light in the sky is still great but the foreground lacks the same punch. If there was water in the foreground, it would still have worked. But here, above land, it is game over. As I pack my things and give a last look at the landscape, I am reminded why knowledge of the weather is so important for a landscape photographer. Great light makes a great landscape. Time for breakfast.
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