The Golden Hour I Was Looking For

by | Aug 13, 2021 | Stories & Expeditions | 0 comments

Just driving up the driveway, I knew it was going to be a great place for a Photography Field Day!

210804_James Staddon_1072 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 47 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100

The day before a workshop is very important. It’s when all the decisions have to be made about where we’ll be going and what we’ll be doing when. And so preparations began as soon as I arrived on location.

Come golden hour, my appreciation for the location only increased!

210804_James Staddon_1080 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 24 mm, 1-125 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 100

It was going to be the perfect spot to do what we do on a Field Day. Learn to shoot in Manual in the morning, learn how to approach a scene artistically in the afternoon, and then put everything together for perfect pictures in epic light at the end of the day. After scouting the whole area, I was really looking forward to the next day.

210804_James Staddon_1116 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 24 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 200

And the next day came! We learned how to shoot simple scenes in Full Manual and not rely at all on the automatic settings for correct exposure.

210805_James Staddon_1129 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 105 mm, 1-400 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 200

And we learned how to approach scenes in an artistic way.

210805_James Staddon_1130 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 28 mm, 1-400 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 200

We discovered the impact aperture can have on our photos.

210805_James Staddon_1132 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 105 mm, 1-500 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 100210805_James Staddon_1133 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 105 mm, 1-13 sec at f - 22, ISO 100

How to get sharp photos of fast-moving objects.

210805_James Staddon_1144 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 105 mm, 1-500 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 200

And even some tips relating to portraiture surrounding our group photo!

210805_James Staddon_1193 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 88 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 4.5, ISO 100210805_James Staddon_1200 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 28 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 100

And then it was time for golden hour! The opportunity to pull it all together!

And there was no golden hour. Clouds moved in. And the golden hour I was looking for didn’t arrive. Sadness!

But you can’t let things like that discourage you! We were still going to find epic pictures. So we packed up and drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. From up there, we could take advantage of every minute of light until the very moment the sun disappeared behind the horizon.

210805_James Staddon_1223 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 24 mm, 1-30 sec at f - 16, ISO 100

And the sun did peak out more than I expected! It gave us the time to shoot at least a few photos in the golden light we were looking for.

210805_James Staddon_1210 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 24 mm, 1-60 sec at f - 16, ISO 100

And there was even somewhat of a sunset! Just enough cloudless space above the horizon that you could watch the red orb drop into it’s resting place for the night.

210805_James Staddon_1241 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 105 mm, 1-125 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 320

And even then, that didn’t mean we had to stop taking pictures. Smile

210805_James Staddon_1244 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 82 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 400

No, we didn’t get the golden hour I was looking for that second evening during Shenandoah in the Summer, but I’m grateful there was a sunset that night and that I had at least decided to pull out my camera for golden hour the evening before.

Golden Hour
Countryside outside Montvale, Virginia
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