Tuesday, January 30, 2007

As The Earth Turns

Canon EOS 20D with 10-22 @ 10mm ISO 400

Part one
Sunday morning found me headed east of Calgary towards the horizon searching for a suitable subject to capture silhouetted in the morning dawn. Sunrise would-not happen for another hour so I pulled into Tim Horton's in Chestermere Lake, Alberta to grab a coffee and a bagel. Back on Highway 1 East, the thermometer reading -12C outside and my truck heater set for toasty, I enjoyed my coffee as the radio murmuring softly on my favorite program at this time of day "Daybreak Alberta" CBC 1010. The dawn approaching was looking good as I hurtled east with few other vehicles on the road with me. Now if you thought that I had a plan as to what I had in mind for a shoot, think again-I would be making it up as I go. Approaching the Junction of Highway 24, I decided to make the turn south as I kept an eye on the Horizon that was a pleasing glow to my left. I knew I would have to make it happen soon If I planned on a capture which included the sunrise. Coming up on Highway 22 I decided to make the turn east.
Time was passing and panic would soon set in if I did not find that elusive capture. All of a sudden I realized that my first capture was staring me in the face. I quickly stopped the truck in the driving lane of the deserted highway and opened the door grabbing my bean-bag and jambing it into place with my camera set up on the bag. I shot this capture which shows the hood of my truck and the glow to the east of the coming dawn. If you have spent time looking through my blog, you will see a fair number of silhouettes as I love shooting them. Keep it simple and they work-its that easy and I have said it before "Its all about the light", no light no photo.
As to the exposure for this capture, I still find myself shooting photos as if my camera has film in it. What I mean by this, is with film you depended on your skills as to the results you saw starring at you when your film was processed. Today I believe too many beginning photographers that are using digital cameras, have not learned to use them correctly and fire at will hoping for a good capture or planning on correcting all the issues with their captures in Photoshop. So back to the exposure for this capture, first of all I almost always shoot in shutter priority as I like total control over my aperture settings. I will keep a eye on the shutter speed that the camera is dialing up and if corrections are required, I will make them. As a rule of thumb I will make three exposures, one at what I feel is the correct exposure based on my metering of the subject and then the other two, one-a stop over and one-a stop under. I find when I am shooting silhouettes, and I have the correct exposure, I am normally two stops under what the subject metered. This capture was shot with a aperture of f22 and exposure time of 1/2 second. The f22 was to keep the hood of the truck in focus as I locked my focus on the horizon-you remember depth of field (DOF) don't you?
Just so you know-this capture is as it came from my camera with no editing on my computer. So now my choice of subject material-In daylight, you would have kept the pedal to the metal as you passed this location on the way to Siksika Territory where I am headed by the way. As I drive I look at my surroundings as though through the lens of a camera, always looking for my next capture. I will see the perfect shot but the lighting is wrong so I store it in my mind for that morning when a fog greets the dawn and I am off to shoot the capture that I kept stored in the back of my mind.
I had planned on a second capture for this post that I shot down the road a piece, however being I was long-winded with this first capture, I will keep it for the next posting. For now I am still making my way eastward as the earth turns towards the sun...Stay tuned

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