Nice & Relaxing?
Landscape photography is not easy. For a start there are the early mornings. Now I am one of the world’s worst for getting out of bed, ask any of my friends or family! Ironic then to choose Landscape Photography…..because to capture the best light means getting up….EARLY!
A good example of this masochistic tendency is a shoot at St Michaels Mount back in June 2007. The weather at that time of year might be warmer and sunnier (I think!) but it also coincides with the longest days of the year. That means VERY EARLY mornings!
I always check the weather forecasts for the coming days, and check again each evening for the following day. I do not want to be getting up early if there is no chance of a shot.
I planned the trip to Cornwall so that my accommodation was within a few minutes drive of St Michaels Mount. Even so it meant setting the alarm for the middle of the night. I had to plan my timing so I had enough time to wash, dress, eat and drive to the location in plenty of time for sunrise.
So morning one the alarm was set, around 3:30am from memory. I was on the beach looking for my composition well before sunrise. I set up the camera for the first shot knowing the sun should light up the Mount in a glorious golden glow. What I haven’t told you is that when I looked out the window first thing, the conditions didn’t look promising with a heavy mist. However, it takes all sorts of weather to create great images and I went out none the less.
I returned with a small number of shots with flat light and not a lot else. The bonus for me was that I had further scouted the location to find more potential compositions.
Day 2, alarm set, again conditions did not look promising but I made the effort none the less, same results. Ugh……. The light never materialised and to make matters worse the Mount ended up covered in a blanket of mist! This can be seen in the image at the top of the blog.
Day 3, I opened the curtains to find potential! At last…..the sky looked promising and there was no mist to be seen. I gathered myself together with more excitement than the previous two mornings. After parking up I walked to my chosen area near to the cobbled path, leading to St Michaels Mount. I set up my camera on the tripod and went through all my usual checks….ISO, aperture…. Sure enough the sunrise lit up St Michael’s Mount with a beautiful golden glow that also caught the scattered rocks in the foreground as I had hoped. This was more like it! I was praying for more cloud to capture the colours of the sunrise…..but unfortunately they dispersed quite quickly once the sun came up……landscape photographer’s are never satisfied!
As Tom Jones would say...it's not unusual....
All keen amateur or professional landscape photographer’s go through these early mornings to capture the best possible light, it can takes days, months or even years to capture a particular place in the best possible lighting.
The shot below shows an image from the third morning with a soft colour palette of mauves and pinks as the first light hits the foreground rocks and St Michael’s Mount.
The camera data shows the first photograph with the Mount in mist was taken at 4:46am on the 5th of June. The image below was taken at 4:37am on the 6th June…what a difference a day makes!