A key component to capturing the wild light is that one needs to seek it out. While we all can stumble across wild light, but how much better though when we actively seek out the wild light? And how much more consistently will we take home photographs of that wild light?
Typically as I get ready to go out and shoot for a few days, I will check the weather at locations that will work with the amount of time I have. In this case, it was a 2 day trip so I was limiting myself to a 5 to 6 hour drive. Being in Southern California, that leaves me with a wide array of places I can shoot. From Death Valley, to the Eastern Sierra, to Yosemite, to the Big Sur coastline, etc… So as I checked out the weather, Yosemite had old snow and clear skies, so that was out. Death Valley had clear skies. Big Sur was supposed to be socked with rain for 2 days. All of the big name locations if you will did not have what I would consider ideal conditions. In the end, I went for a location much closer to home. The location I had in mind did not have the national notoriety of some places, but still I have seen some tremendous photographs from there.
The image today is from San Diego, from an area called Sunset Cliffs. The vast majority of my images are taken because I had done research. In the case of ocean shots, I checked not only the weather, but tides. I knew that for the days I was wanting to go shoot, that there would be a receding tide that was getting low enough that I could access rocks and reefs that under a higher tide would be submerged from view. In my research I also had found that while there was some rain in the forecast, it was to be breaking up, so that gave me the chance to have clouds.
Now I am sure most of us have seen the weather forecasts on TV, and have been amazed that most times or not, it seems that they are wrong! What a job that would be, to be able to be wrong 80% of the time and still be employed! Now, not to give the Weathermen and Weatherwomen too hard of a time, it can be hard to predict the weather, because it can change at a moment’s notice. But by our doing research, at least it gives us a fair chance to get the kind of weather that we are after.
The shot you see here was actually after the sun had set, but was still providing a lot of ambient light. The clouds were helping that light to bounce around so that I could get some nice light in the foreground. And there was still enough golden glow on the horizon to add some nice color to the sky.
With today’s technology, seeking out the light is so much easier than it used to be. With most of us having smartphones or tablets, there are a myriad of apps that can be found to help predict tides and weather. For keeping an eye on the tides, my favorite go to app is called “Tide Graph”.
I want to encourage all of you to get out there and seek out the wild light. Don’t wait for it to come to you. If you want to come capture the wild light with me, be sure to sign up for an upcoming workshop, it would be a pleasure and an honor to shoot with you.