Have you got a minute? Photography and Time.

In photography, thinking about time goes hand-in-hand with thinking about light. If your photographing birds or sport timing is at the heart of capturing the shot. In landscape photography, everything slows down.

A hill-walker jumps between Adam and Eve at the summit of Tryfan in Snowdonia. A split second’s delay and I couldn’t have got this shot.

Whatever you intend to  photograph you should make time to plan and prepare for the conditions in which you’ll be working – travel plans, food, shelter, health and safety (eg on a mountain ridge). What will the weather be like? How much weight will I be carrying? Make time to check that you’ve packed everything.

Camera, lenses, tripod, of course plus backpack, filters and holders/step-up adapters, maps, timetables, food, water, lens cleaning material, body caps and lens caps (if changing lenses), cash, phone, spare batteries, spare sd cards, suitable footwear and outerwear. You may need to carry six or more kilograms to carry for remote locations for long distances and long periods of time.

You should be thinking about the time of day that will best suit your subject – sunrise, sunset, night? What time will those be on the day I’m going? Do I need to check tide tables? You should be thinking about the time of year that will best suit your subject – autumn colour, winter scenes?

Two elements of time here. I was probably two weeks too early to get the full effect of the Autumn colour, but the time of day – early morning – was right to get the calm water surface that provided the reflections.

You ought to build-in time to look around. Conditions change; roads and paths may be closed, there my have been a flood. Where will I get the most from the direction of the light?  where will I get the best composition, the best angle? Would I be better moving further back or nearer?

I got a reasonable angle here, but later in the day – and at the Autumn equinox, I’d have been able to get the sun setting at the end of the pier.

You should make time to ensure that your settings are OK, This is doubly true if you’re considering employing filters. Is your sensor clean? Is your lens clean – and filters if in use? You should make time to check your preview and adjust accordingly – reset, re-shoot and re-check.

Just below the centre of the image you should be able to see two sensor spots. The image has been heavily cropped to show just one area of sky and the exposure adjusted to make them show up more, but they would have ruined the image without using spot removal tool in Lightroom. The shot was taken at f/11 but at f/16 the effect would have been horrendous.

Before you leave the spot, make time to check that you’ve left nothing behind.

Do check the ground around you. I once left a lens cap behind after a Milky Way shot. It was pitch black at night but I did have a torch and head torch – so no excuse. Also, check that you’ve zipped up your backpack pockets – dangling flap could allow your camera or a lens to fall out or get stolen.

Don’t rush

Tomorrow, I’ll say more about things like the time of day and time of year

My featured image today relates to a particular moment in the time of day – the Blue Hour, shortly after sunset, photographed here at Media City, Salford Quays, Greater Manchester UK. I used my Pentax K-1 36 MP full frame camera together with a 15-30 mm f/2.8 lens at 14 mm and f/11. The ISO was 100 and (without filters) the shutter speed was 5 seconds. The camera was mounted on a tripod.

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