As an artist, I am working on my open-mindedness when considering what constitutes “good light.” I love and am usually satisfied when an image draws an emotion out of the viewer; most of the scenes I’m chasing require rare, dramatic light—the waning moments of blue hour, or a dramatic sunrise, things like this. Now, these moments are still, in my view, generally some of the best to capture the mood of a landscape. But there’s still something to be said for a blue sky; they are still so beautiful. While as a photographer, one must be careful of harsh, dramatic light, of course, but a blue sky with clouds in it like this makes one feel happy, content. It’s easy to become jaded as a photographer, which can lead to missed opportunities, and can even lead to laziness or procrastination. I find it’s best to just go out and work with what I’ve got.
I’m learning that while some earlier lessons like “there is no correcting for bad light” are open for interpretation. Of course, there are a ton of ways to utilize the Golden Hour, or a fantastic dramatic sunset…it’s more of a matter of HOW one uses the light available to them, than just a yes/no approach to “good light.” Putting this into practice is both giving me more opportunities to shoot in a greater range of conditions and allowing me to adapt more easily to changing conditions.
If, for example, the weather changes, the lighting changes, it becomes a situation where I’ll sometimes try and tailor my approach to what’s happening in the field, versus being “stuck in a rut” chasing after an image that just isn’t going to be present in the existing conditions. It’s best to table that idea, perhaps write a note in my journal, and come back again, when the conditions are right.
I found myself once again in Crested Butte, where I have access to some of the most amazing Aspen groves in the world. To some, things like downed trees, or off-white colored bark are distractions when shooting these beautiful forests. Nonsense! This gives the viewer an appreciation for the life cycle of the forest, and the personality these trees, with their varying personalities, add so much depth and character to a scene.
I love this forest. It looks almost unrecognizable in “Peppermint Grove” compared to last season’s “The Invitation”—both scenes are just a few hundred yards from one another. This scene, with its crisp sun and insane color gamut from the ground-up, I can taste, see, smell and almost hear the beauty of this forest.