Thursday, October 30, 2014
My days usually start early at various times: 4:15 am - 4:30 am - 5:12 am - 5:30 am. Sometimes the snooze button hates me every eight minutes when I click the button to tell it to shut the fuck up. But I get ready and do the following: walk the dog, take a shower, feed the cats, clean the kitty litter, make breakfast, prep lunch, kiss my wife, and drive to work. By the time I'm in the car it's already 7:00 am. These are weekday routines that are sometimes difficult to maintain. These things are what set the mood for the next 8 hours.
Weekends are a little different though. I'm either at the apartment or at the in-laws. At the in-laws (located in Lowell, MA) I wake up, walk the dog and either go back to sleep or dress up to take a walk around the neighborhood or downtown. Most of the time I step out with a camera packed.
Mornings appear to be the best times a photographer can take advantage of. The best light comes around with its colors, direction, and atmosphere. Combined with the location that is occupied by people and things is a cinema itself. These are elements that should be taken in consideration.
Most of the photographs I take are timed at 7:30, 8:13, or 9:45 depending on the quality of the light and the subject present. Of course these times are starting points, but I find myself taking more photographs in this period than 11:38 am or 2:46 pm. I usually scope out scenes while the light is 90 degrees. The shadows are too harsh. Fill light needs to be used. The quality of the light makes the colors look a little flat. I'm sure that a handful of photographers could disagree, but they work differently than I do.
Then comes 4:15 pm. The color of the light has changed. People are still outside hanging out. People from the early morning are coming home to eat dinner. Some are heading to work. Some are picking up their kids from soccer practice. Others are probably going to the grocery store. These variations create movement in the streets and the movie gets better.
Though different times of the year don't exactly follow a day I just described I'm only describing what's perfect to me. These things are completely normal. For some, the repetition is exhausting while others find comfort in it. These repeated routines, however, are opportunities to capture something overlooked. The habits are possibilities of a great photo.
I find it hard to believe someone in my age group with the passion of photography is going to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to work on pictures. There's only one photographer I could think of that will do something ridiculous like that and that's Ansel Adams. I'm sure there are photographers that work like me (they probably work a lot more than I do), but I don't see much of my friends or other photographers around doing this. They definitely work in the afternoon, but most don't do mornings.
I encourage anyone to do this. It's great exercise.