by Jimmy Denham
There's no doubt that the best light for images is found in either golden hour around sunup and sundown, but the opportunity to shoot at those hours, especially in the winter, is not always available. It's dark when you go to work and dark when you leave, so what's a photog to do? Try taking pictures in the middle of the day, of course!
A couple of weeks ago I decided to try a little experiment during my lunch break. I grabbed the camera, tripod and 10-Stop ND filter and looked for something interesting to point all of at. The 10-stop has become a go-to tool for me in all light, but becomes even more valuable in the bright noon light because it allows more flexibility and creativity with the camera, in particularly the shutter speed, that otherwise would not be available.
After fishing around for a while, I finally got into a little bit of a groove. The clouds were moving nicely which bodes well for the 10-stop, lengthening the shutter speed and allowing the clouds to drag on the sensor. All I needed was a decent stationary element to contrast the clouds against—along come the portable pier! Initially, it seemed kind of a corny combination, but after processing it in onOne Software's Perfect B&W, I really liked how the frame settled out.
Results: It may not have yielded something that will win a contest, but my lunchtime experiment seemed pretty successful. A decent image was produced in harsh, mid-day light and my creativity was also tested, which made me look more deliberately for an image than I normally would have in good light. This type of exercise might become more common in my days just to keep my eye and creativity sharp!