Day 206

Day 206 – Wild hairs, insanity, patience and disappointment

I got this wild hair and this was the week-end, all of the elements were in place: hot and dry, full moon, wheat field nearing harvest.

I have read all of the books that talk about the golden hour and although I have no reason to doubt anyone, I wanted to see for myself, so I put together my own little mini-project. I found a wheat field out in the open that was close to home.

I even defined mini rules for myself. I wanted roughly the exact same image at four different times in a 24 hour period:

  1. When the full moon was at it’s highest in the sky
  2. Sunrise
  3. When the sun was at it’s highest mid-day
  4. Sunset

I stayed pretty close to my set parameters and I learned a few valuable tidbits. I am completely sleep deprived. It was a week-end of multiple happy nappies, but never a full nights sleep.

And most importantly, I need to shout out a huge thank you to my partner Karen who has humored me all week-end with photo shoots at all hours of the day. Thank you Karen, from the bottom of my heart. You inspire, encourage and support me, I can’t ask for anymore than that.

ISO 100, 105mm, f/10, 88.0 sec. 12:31:17 am, Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lit by the full moon
I picked out this field earlier in the week, easy access and close to home but I didn’t really scout out the location. Arriving at midnight with just the light of the moon (where was my flashlight, you ask?) was a bit of a challenge, but I had enough moonlight to set up the tripod.

It occurred to me that only an insane photographer would go out in the middle of the night into the middle of a field just to get “the shot.”

I used the bulb setting and since I didn’t have a timer of any sort, with every click of the shutter I counted to 100 or more. The hardest part of the whole thing was trying to manually focus. My car was parked on the other side of the highway, so I had Karen turn on the high beams and they just hit the top bar of the first wheel.

ISO 100, 96mm, f/13, 1/30 sec. 6:11:28 am, Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunrise or shortly there after
Three hours of sleep and we were back up so that we could capture sunrise at the wheat field. I was there about 30 minutes early and really wasn’t that impressed. The lighting was pretty darn flat, the skies were faded to a not so nice gray.

I watched as the sun came over the horizon and I still wasn’t that impressed. I waited around and was walking back to the car about 20 minutes after official sunrise when I turned around and saw this.

I scrambled back to my spot, set up and watched as the sun gave me those famous golden moments. If I had left the minute the sun rose, I would have missed this. A little patience definitely paid off.

ISO 100, 92mm, f/22, 1/125 sec., 1:44:47 pm, Sunday, July 25, 2010

Under the mid-day sun
This one took the most tweaking in Lightroom, but I do think that full sun gets a bit of a bum rap. It didn’t take too long to set up and get my image.

ISO 100, 75mm, f/8.0, 1/60 sec., 8:35:08 pm, July 25, 2010

Sunset, the last light of day

I was disappointed at sunset. I thought I had time to stop for gas, but I didn’t. This was the only image I captured as the light began to fade fast with 15 minutes to go before actual sunset.

I hung around hoping to somehow redeem my sunset image, but it never worked, at least not with the parameters that I had set for myself.
Yup, lessons learned.
  • credd - great experiment! love that early morning light! i'm frequently out in my yard running around taking photos before i go to work.ReplyCancel

  • MaggieGem - Nice experiment, thanks for sharing. I like the mid-day shot better than I suspected I would, it doesn't look all that harsh to me.ReplyCancel

  • Mindy - I absolutley love this experiment,my friend Laura did a similar one with a ferris wheel and the results were so cool.

    I love the sunrise one and while you don't like the sunset one I think it is very pretty!ReplyCancel

  • Dijea - I love this idea and you picked a great subject matter. I have sometimes a hard time with sunset and in my experience if you aren't shooting into it, you don't get the light you want.

    I absolutely love the sunrise shot. The lighting feels warm and inviting & its the one I most want to experience.

    I recently thought of an idea to shoot the same shot for 365 days for a difference in the weather and then thought to do the same shot for 365 days at different times of the day. It would entail being in town for a year though….ReplyCancel

  • Breanna - What a great idea and experiment! I love all the shots! Sunrise shot is awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - Hey, what a great idea Terri! Great work. All of the shots are wonderful but I do like the sunrise the best. This experiment showed great dedication for sure!

    This is what I have learned with all of the sunsets I shot last fall: I found it was best to arrive in the field an hour to an hour and a half before sunset. Then I would get set up and just watch and wait. There were thousands of migrating birds to watch and shoot so it wasn't really just waiting. Then all of a sudden the light would change and it was wonderful! I think the light is different on each day, so maybe you just didn't get lucky with the evening light on that one day. The actual sunset has just a few moments of spectacular so would have to be there shooting as it happened then I would stick around for a while after the sunset as the sky continued to change. I absolutely adore that experience in the field. Maybe some day you'll have an opportunity to take that kind of time to experiece it for yourself. You won't regret it!ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - What a great experiment and great lessons learned. I am impressed that you managed to pull it off (with a little help of coarse). I like each of them for different reasons. Nice job Terri.ReplyCancel

  • Leslie R. Lee - I actually like the sunset photo the best. it is very subtle, almost painterly. Great idea! Glad you shared your lessons.ReplyCancel

  • Sharkbayte - great experiment! the shots are all wonderful! Sunrise is my favorite, if I had to choose.ReplyCancel