You know what I like about overcast days? If the clouds are right, it’s a great time to shoot. But I also like the fact that I can get out and shoot when it’s most convenient – right smack dab in the middle of the day when the sun is normally its harshest.
We all know the best time of day to shoot is in the morning and evening. But that’s also when I am either cozying up to my wife, playing with my dog, or getting into a good book on the evening. It can be just downright inconvenient to shoot at those times.
But face it, if you want to get a good shot you might as well start thinking this way: “The less convenient the shot, the better it will be.” And often half the battle is just getting out and BEING THERE in the first place.
A recent Saturday was a good case in point. I woke up to the sound of rain outside. Not the slight spring rain that we think is great to be out in, but a wet, cold rain that was trying real hard to be snow. I was hoping to get out and shoot some HDR. But that means tripod and standing . . . . Out in the rain.
Fortunately, the rain let up. But it was still wet, cold and I had started to cozy down at home. But I had played the day up so much in my mind the day before, that I just had to get out. And that’s what I suggest you need to do: whatever it takes to get out there. Again, that’s half the battle.
I decided to “go cold” in the HDR shot above. It was a 4 shot exposure on my Canon 60D using Magic Lantern. I had to climb down off the road into a bit of rocky muck to get the angle I wanted, and I took several series of shots at different apertures. What 4 shots? Why not 5 or 7? That’s easy. Magic Lantern has a setting where I let it determine the exposure spread to cover the whole range of the dynamic light available in the shot. Currently, I let ML decide for me. And this time, it decided that 4 shots was all it needed. If you are new to HDR, a nice side benefit to this is that as you progress in your photography, you learn to see the dynamics better, and ML rewards you by giving up 4 or 5 shots.
The shots were imported into Lightroom 4 where I stacked them and then did a round-trip into Photomatix 4.2 for the actual merge.
And you know something? I couldn’t have done ANY OF IT if I never got out there in the first place! So, like I said:
Step 1 – Get out there and do it
Step 2 – Everything else