Right place, wrong time or conditions?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by bobwysiwyg, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I have often found what I think would be a great subject or location, but other variables are just not right at that moment (It rarely keeps me from shooting though). This may be related to my personal likes. I'm not too interested in shooting monuments or famous tourist locations, more the "off the beaten path" type things or scenery. I also have a, perhaps perverted, interest in old buildings, abandoned homesteads, etc. I also prefer shots during the first of last 60-90 min. of daylight, not exclusively, just a preference.

    Frequently I happen upon a subject and it has potential, but it is the wrong time of day, wrong season, wrong weather, etc. I would, in the past, just make a note, sometimes mental, to get back there. Most of the time I forget particularly if there is a great deal of time or distance involved in getting back to the area.

    I started taking and saving these did bits of info. in a spreadsheet to include location (I now use GPS coordinates by simply asking my Garman, where am I?). I also include preferred season, time of day, weather conditions, etc. If we are planning a vacation, such as our annual trip to Michigan's UP, I can resurrect my thoughts from previous trips or if the subject matter is more than an hour's drive.

    Does anyone else keep track of "potential" future shots for the same reasons, though perhaps not quite as anally? :smile:
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Sort of. I have my mental list of places nearby that I revisit occasionally when I think the light is good or that I plan to visit when I can. Then there are places I know I will travel to again and I might take what amounts to a scouting shot just to remember where it is, and if the light is right when I'm in the vicinity again, I'll try to revisit.
     
  3. Ria

    Ria Member

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    "Does anyone else keep track of 'potential' future shots for the same reasons...?
    Absolutely. When I am out shooting, I typically carry a notebook for recording exposure information, location, date, etc. If I come upon a scene I want to try at a different time of day or year, I record that in the same notebook.
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I also keep a long list of potential scenes, and all I can say is... patience, patience :wink: Sounds like you are more methodical than I.

    My typical problem with some of my favourite subjects (flowers, trees, fungus and the like) is that a season can quickly go by with no good opportunities at all. For example, every spring I think that this will finally be the year that I get the LF shots I want with wisteria, but then... weird weather typically intervenes; this year it was wind and heat and a total lack of rain during a very critical few-day period. Some blossoms are only around for a few days (or in the case of moonflowers, just one evening). With many of the more spectacular mushrooms there can be really one optimal day and only an hour or two of suitable light during that day. Pretty soon I'll be buying plastic flowers and veggies at the supermarket :wink: I do wish my photography weren't quite so dependent on impermanent subjects!

    With IR landscapes, the window is also quite narrow for what I am after. The annoying thing is when the clouds etc. are just right and I am at work :rolleyes:

    I suppose the positive way to look at it is to realize that there will always be photographs you haven't taken yet, and hence motivation.... Just file your thoughts and keep on (pre)visualizing!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2010
  5. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council

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    I've found that when I 'go back' to a landscape scene at a more favorable time the scene I waited for is not it at all. The inspired scene in poor conditions does not get better in other conditions. I'll make the 'better' photograph but it really isn't better in my view, the inspiration of discovery is missing.

    I'll wait for another season and look for another inspiration. But to wait an hour or a day or a week doesn't work for me.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I'm constantly looking at locations and thinking about when the best lighting might occur, not just time of day, but seasonally also.
     
  7. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

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    I’ll make notes and take a few reference shots with a 35mm.
    Sometimes I actually get back to shoot the scenes.

    Mike
     
  8. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    A few months ago, I stumbled on a very useful free program ("The Photographers Ephemeris") for forecasting lighting for landscape photographers (might have been on this forum?):-

    http://stephentrainor.com/tools

    Well worth checking out. :smile:
     
  9. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Neat application! Thanks for the link.
     
  10. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    This problem is often compounded with vacation/travel photography. I have often packed my gear with the anticipation of capturing famed landmarks or buildings, only to find myself at a once in a lifetime location under simply horrible conditions. I usually try to take the intended shot anyway, and often get a useable-if-not-quite-inspiring photograph in return.

    In these cases I will also do another part of my photographer's exercise... I turn the camera another direction, away from my original subject... up, down, near, far. (This is part of my every day shooting regimen) I look for the unusual and unexpected. Something fresh and new. These are often the more memorable photographs from a trip. They are something that I could not have preconceived, and their genesis is not influenced by the weight of expectations.

    Nice app, by the way. Some time ago, I printed a chart of moon times for my home location so I can make some plans for future shots, but this is so much more detailed and useable.
    Cheers,
     
  11. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    I typically don't have the patience to wait when I find a scene that I really like and this is typically because I only really enjoy what's coming through the lens when the conditions already lend themselves to the composition. that being said I do like to shoot a lot of the same scenes in different lighting conditions so...I'd say I do both - shoot now, shoot later, and then evaluate what worked best. As a pedestrian I'm always out walking with some sort of gear on me and I typically don't go too far away from 'home base'.

    This is indeed a good little tool - "The Photographers Ephemeris" - but I doubt I would put it to much use myself...I often find I'll lose interest somewhere in the palnning process so I tend to just keep notes - again, however, I don't travel much so perhaps if I weren't already very aware of the direction of light & such I would probably put it to use.

    Thanks for the link!

    Toffle, Point Pelee - ahh...I wish I were there now :smile:
     
  12. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Come join me... I'm just about to head out the door to walk some trails. (Only taking three cameras.)

    Cheers,
     
  13. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Sometimes I use a GPS gadget, but I lost it!

    Jeff
     
  14. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Scouting locations and revisiting them at different times of day and year is part of the perseverance you need for landscape photography. Plus, it enhances your sense of place.
     
  15. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I take a few photos anyways (with whatever I have for a camera such as DSLR), then I will be both reminded and prepared to return under the conditions I really want. There are so many places within an hour of my home that would qualify for a revisit, I don't really need a GPS or a high level of organization when conditions are right.
     
  16. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    While I do keep a "shot list" of places that need revisiting in "better" conditions, I find that life's vissiscitudes don't often allow for a return visit producing a better result than the original.

    So I've decided to take the best shot I can in the conditions presented, and be prepared to shoot again if I can get back. I always without fail have a camera on m person or in my vehicle.
     
  17. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    Wish I could - I'll be sure to head out that way as much as possible this summer - I haven't been down there in years but love the trails...are the Monarchs still gathering in the fall?

     
  18. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    As of September '08 there are still some pretty impressive migrations. This was shot with Elite Chrome and cross processed by the friendly people in our recently defunct lab. :sad:

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, (and apologies for hijacking the thread... we now return to our regularly scheduled discussion)
     
  19. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I don't get too obsessive about it, but I do keep a list. I do also take something while I'm standing there. It is sometimes frustrating, I have shots in Rome and London that don't quite rival purchased postcards, but that's what it looked like when I was there (and I did get some good ones too).

    I also maintain a list of future Pinhole Day destinations. As it tends toward bold, stationary objects such as rail facilities, substations and bridges, I hope Homeland Security doesn't spirit me away to Gitmo. :D
     
  20. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I had a chance to spend more time with this, very interesting. Recently drove out to an old wooden school house I had passed some time ago and I tried to get there around sunrise. Well, it wasn't quite the light I was hoping for primarily because I was not there early (or late) enough in the year as by the time there was any illumination of the front, the sun was much higher in the sky than I wanted.

    I located it in TPE and using the satellite view. I could see the tree in front and the front step on the building. :surprised: Anyway, fiddling with the calendar, I should have been there a month earlier. Again, thanks for the link, I think it will come in handy.
     
  21. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I work in series of related images for the photo courses I take in my retirement. Every two weeks we have to put up ten new shots, related to the series subject, 11x14 or larger, as near show quality as we can get, for class critique. A course will have six critiques for new work and a seventh final with twenty matted final prints.

    This term I’m working on religion in transition, churches to be built, churches left by the congregation for larger buildings (what became of the old or expansion construction), churches abandoned, churches repurposed ( a bank, a winery, an historical museum, Faith Gym), churches demolished by man or in one case lightning and fire. One discovers the churches by research, word of mouth, or plain old prospecting. One never knows what will catch your photographic eye or even which way the church is oriented. Occasionally I use my wife’s auto GPS to find the place, but usually I simply scout, observe and decide.

    The baby jogger I use to carry either the 8x10 or 7x17 was into a bicycle shop once years ago for a repair. Someone had bent the axle while parking to close to the jogger hanging off the back of the SUV. The dealer had a bicycle compass and bell for sale. I may have the only baby jogger, with 7x17 and a bicycle bell compass. If the sun is not where I want it I determine what time of day it will be where I want it with compass and watch and return then. I have yet to figure out when the sun will come around to the north side though.

    John Powers
     
  22. Dietmar Wolf

    Dietmar Wolf Member

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    I write ideas in a small .txt file on my desktop. Mostly ideas about composition, location.
    I try to repeat shots which are not 100% at first time.
     
  23. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    Yep, I do. I used to keep notes on my Palm, now my iPhone. Sometimes a regular little notebook.

    I have a small Word document with potential photo ideas that I keep/update every so often. It comes in handy when I want to take photos but can't think of anything.
     
  24. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    You can try, but never can repeat a lanscape. Never ever. Something always changes.