We’re told over and over again to take our Landscape photographs during the ‘blue’ hour or the ‘golden’ hour at either ends of the day when the shadows are long, the light soft and everything’s rosy. You get some lovely images at this time. 500px fodder to the max. We’re told to avoid the harsh midday light, it’s crap for photographs. And they’re right, well sort of.
I recently attended a Landscape Photography day with my Son up in the Peak District run by Dave Butcher, the last Ilford trained Black & White film developer still operating. He (quite rightly) pointed out that whilst they may have a point about bright sun for Colour, for Black and White, the fierce midday sun was no barrier.
However, for me when I’m told not to do something, I want to do it more. So, a couple of hours to kill on a Saturday morning had me wandering in the hot June sun on the beach at Bantham Beach armed to the teeth with tripod, ND filters, a phone full of photography apps and no plan other than to see what happened.
Sure, apart from getting a bit too hot and sweaty, things didn’t turn out too bad. Ok, the colour shots were not magazine cover material but they weren’t that shoddy. What was useful though was spending some time in full Manual Mode (M and BULB) learning and relearning settings. It was also bright enough to experiment with a 10 Stop ND filter and not to have to wait for several minutes to get a result., which is a result in itself as far as I’m concerned.
After all the Sun, I headed back for a pint at The Sloop. Not a bad morning after all.