Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our 8th Wedding Anniversary together, and while our celebration was low-key, quiet and modest, I wanted to be present and not be my usual distracted self fussing over my blog and photos, so I decided to hold off on my post until today (so this is 1 of 2, again). And since I knew I would be waiting I came up with the idea of showing the benefits of following just a few Photography rules (I usually don ‘t like rules and I fought these for a long, long time). for a successful shoot; scouting out your location ahead of time, ensuring you have the proper equipment with you when you go (remote shutter release and tripod), and shooting in the best lighting conditions (during what Photographers call “The Golden Hour”).
What exactly is the golden hour?
The golden hour, sometimes called the “magic hour”, is roughly the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, although the exact duration varies between seasons. During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in. It’s soft, warm, dimensional, and just flat-out magical. It adds a quality to images that can’t be replicated no matter how many actions, filters, or textures you use.
With that, I will tell you that the first photo posted was shot following the basic rules (or guidelines if that feels better to say). I shot early this morning in the so-called “golden hour”, just as the sun was rising over the horizon, I planned ahead and knew my location, I utilized a remote shutter release and mounted my camera on my tripod. And, because I scouted out my location pre-shoot, I knew which lens would be best suited to capture the shot, and ensured it was in my bag.
The second photo was shot yesterday at 2:00 pm in full sunlight, without a tripod or remote shutter release (though I did find a stone pillar to set my camera on top of), or a lens that could offer enough compression to get everything in the shot just as I wanted it to be.
I love that the differences between the two photographs are so pronounced and that the first photo is so much more interesting than the second (I spent the same amount of time editing both pictures). Should these rules be broken? Of course they should, and of course I have, but I will say from my own experience that when it comes to Photography, sometimes the rules are right on…even when Ansel Adams tells me otherwise…
“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” Ansel Adams