Time of Day–Catching It Right

Being home instead of working sometimes has it’s advantages Smile  Especially from a photo standpoint.  This time of the year for us in Calgary, we have this wild series of fluctuating conditions that can vary from nice warm days to blizzards, Grey overcast days to bright sunlight.  In being at home, I find it’s much more noticeable than being in an office – well, let’s say a corporate office.

In taking breaks from job hunting, one of nice things about being home, is that I can use any camera I have available.  More important, catching the right time of day for certain types of photos has presented itself on occasion Smile  Depending on subject matter and trying to use natural light can, in many instance, provide for some pretty nice photos.  One of the plants my wife has, are ones called the Christmas Cactus.  She has them in several colors and they bloom during the Xmas season.  When you get some bright sunlight on them, they are very spectacular not only look at, but to also take photos of.  This sunlight typically only lasts 10 or 15 minutes so setting up and shooting, becomes quite important.  I taken shots over the season with everything from my pointy shooties to my Nikon D3200.  This time around, I decided to use the D3200 and see if I could use the kit zoom for this type of photo.  It’s an 18-55mm/f3.5-5.6. 

A rather interesting thing for here, and probably other parts of the world where we get a bit of humidity and frost, makes for some interesting opportunities during the early morning.  It’s called “whore frost”, where the snow literally freezes onto any sort of plant life giving this wonderful frosty coating.  Even on a cloudy day, it’s still pretty neat to be shooting this, though if you can catch the sun on it AND before the snow melts, it can give some pretty awesome shots.  Again, I had to do some grocery shopping, and wanted to get it done fairly early in the morning.  I decided to take the D3200 with me, and got a few shots while the truck was warming up. 

I used the D3200 in both of these instances, knowing that there would be a couple of limitations.  The first, was that the zoom might not be able to get me the base composition I wanted easily, so I knew I would be doing a bit of cropping.  The other piece was the lens speed.  I wanted to shoot at ISO 100-200 at max resolution.  24mp/normal and Dine.  A couple of shots with the XMAS cactus required me to use my tripod, but so be it.  There was also a limited amount  of space for me to work in.

Plant Stand

So.. the result of my latest endeavour with these plants:


XMAS cactus_1XMAS cactus_2XMAS cactus_3

The blossoms will wither away after a couple of days, but new ones keep showing up, so being there is important.  Had I been working, there would have been no way I would have gotten these.

While the light was good, I also used my Panasonic GX1 and a couple of my travel cameras for good measure Smile  The travel cameras were actually a little better as they had macro modes.

For the frost shots, here’s a few that I got :


In this case, it was early morning at around 8:00 a.m., but it was an overcast day, so lighting was very flat.  It would have been spectacular if the sun had been shining but the photos came out pretty good nonetheless.

I think that a lot of getting those shots sometimes come by accident more than anything Smile  You know, you “happen” to be in the right spot at the right time with your gear.  I tend to be out and about a fair amount while in this job hunt mode, and that’s one thing I’ve done, is have a camera of some sort with me at all times.  Other times, you see a shot but lights not right.  If it’s easy to return when the weather is more favourable and it’s the type of shot you want, it might be worth planning for. 

I also have many serious amateur friends that will camp out at a specific shot and wait for the correct moment for the correct shot.  As much as would like to do that, it’s not in the equation at this moment for me.  When I’m on holidays, those special shots seem to come more by coincidence than by planning.  All the more reason to make sure you have a camera with you Smile  I can actually hardly wait for my next trip that way Smile  I have more gear, especially the low light stuff.  We’ll see how it rolls out over the next little while.


About gkamitomo
IT Busines Analyst

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