Lessons from North Carolina

by | Feb 13, 2014 | Stories & Expeditions, Updates & Opportunities | 0 comments

The details page for CAPTURE North Carolina (autumn) has been added to the Workshops page! Here are a few desktop wallpapers and the short-stories behind them from the workshop in North Carolina last year:

Shapes of Nature
Download as Desktop Background

1659_JAS_Near Lancaster-South Carolina-USA W

I like to say that the best time to take pictures is on edge of light. It’s the most colorful, dramatic and thus, photographically productive time of day. Perhaps this sounds like not much time to take pictures, but the Edge of Light is much more than the brief moments of sunrise or sunset. I like to divide the Edge of Light into three stags: the golden hour, “the moment”, and twilight. These stages last for over two hours, so there’s plenty of time to be taking pictures. Most everyone knows what the golden hour is: it’s the hour of time before sunset (or after sunset) where sunlight is at it’s warmest. What I call “the moment” is the brief period of time when the sun actually dips below the horizon at sunset (or peeks over the horizon at sunrise). It’s during those few moments that I have the best opportunity to capture sunbursts. At other times, if the horizon is much higher than the elevation at which I’m standing, then “the moment” could refer to the peak time of color in the clouds which occurs right around the minutes of sunset or sunrise. Twilight, as you’ve probably already guessed, is the hour after sunset (or the hour before sunrise). It is also known as the Blue Hour. This is personally my most favorite time to shoot. It lends toward more subdued images like the one above. During CAPTURE North Carolina last year, we were up before dawn every morning so that we could experience these stages of the Edge of Light, and practice the various challenges associated with each one.

Pearly Specimen
Download as Desktop Background

1721_JAS_Waxhaw-North Carolina-USA W

We were actually driving from one destination to another when we saw this pond by the side of the road with masses of water lilies growing along the edges. The unplanned stop was quite fun, and it didn’t matter that it was mid morning: the heavy cloud cover gave the perfect ambient light for shooting flowers in. No one had planned that either. The entire group of photographers were hovered so close to the banks of the pond that I feared someone would fall in. It may have felt good on that hot muggy day, but being dunked in water isn’t exactly the most healthy thing for camera equipment.

Blue Ridge Morning
Download as Desktop Background

1762_JAS_Blue Ridge Parkway-North Carolina-USA W

In the pre-dawn darkness, we attempted to drive from the meetinghouse to Rough Ridge Overlook, a place I had scouted as a phenomenal location before the workshop had started. But we never did find the parking area at the trail head. We drove several miles in both directions down the Blue Ridge Parkway, but alas, it was not to be found. What a sinking feeling it was when the clouds began to turn pink and we had no place to shoot. Finally, in a desperate effort to make the most of our early morning, we stopped at the first pull-off where there was an overlook. The sunrise was spectacular. We weren’t in the perfect position to capture it, but it was good enough. After the moment of glory passed, the clouds thickened and the sun disappeared behind the clouds for the rest of the morning. And that’s when I took this shot. The arrangement of hills was a long way off, but the telephoto lens brought it in close enough. Our morning photoshoot was well worth rising early for.

I’m looking forward to returning to North Carolina in 2014, this time in October. If you can’t make it to North Carolina, perhaps there’s another state you are closer too. Or Providence, perhaps? CAPTURE Quebec is just around the corner; there’s just one spot left.

CAPTURE Texas, in early April, is coming up very quickly as well. You have till March 3 to get the $50 Early Registration discount.

If those locations still aren’t close enough, check out the newly updated Workshops Page for an overview of the 10 workshops in the works for 2014.

On a final note, if you would like to download Blue Ridge Morning as a desktop background for free, sign up for Latest from Lenspiration updates. I give away one free wallpaper per update. If you would like to receive access to the other two wallpapers, along with my entire collection of wallpapers from the past, you can make any purchase on the Lenspiration Store.

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