I am a mechanic. I like equipment, software, techniques and guidelines for good composition. I have to work at the creative side of my photography and often marvel at the “eye” for composition others have, “seeing” things I completely missed. I find traveling to new or different venues for photography gets my creative “juices” flowing. I always get excited planning for a photo excursion, researching the location, deciding which equipment to take, where to stay, etc. But I am admittedly a gear head, putting heavy emphasis on tripods, lenses, maps, software, etc.
This October, as I planned my trip to Vermont, it occurred to me that I was missing something. I solicited advice from a pro who is an artist as much as a photographer. I wanted to know how to mentally prepare myself for the creative side of photography for the trip. I borrowed what he suggested were the two most important principles he considers when going into the
field, adapted and internalized them in my own way: (1) Let the light dictate the image; and (2) Make the image your own creative process.
These images are characterized, in my view, by unique light, and I hope by my own unique creative style.
Sunrise and fog often work together to create an ephemeral, almost “high key” look that is, at the same time, pastel.
I think early morning light from the pre-dawn alpenglow to just after sunrise is among the best quality light available.
Another time when the quality of light is always surprising and presents presents unique opportunities is when the whether is changing. The light on this farm on “Cloudland Road” near Woodstock, Vermont happened suddenly and unexpectedly. We had been photographing all day long with clear blue skies and as we arrived on Cloudland Road the sky was suddenly gray behind the late day sun.
The last, waning light of the day often yields surprises, especially in geographic regions like the Green Mountains, which create modeling shadows. This barn on theLower Pleasant Valley Road in Cambridge, Vermont is partly lit and partly in shadow, but it is the late afternoon sunlight on Mt. Mansfield in the background that creates drama in the image in my view.