06 Nov One Rainy Day in California

Source: Mostly Photos

It’s 5:00am and I am standing next to my rental car in the car park of the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal. It’s dark. It’s raining.

This situation may be familiar to the Landscape Photographers amongst you and especially those who combine family vacations with a photographic hobby.  We drag ourselves out of our warm beds, scramble on clothes and gather together our gear, silent as ninjas.

Dawn is a convenient time to take photos on vacation. This might seem like an oxymoron but bear with me. 

Golden Hour Light

Landscapes come alive during the ‘Golden Hour’ The light around dawn and dusk brings long shadows that lift detail in scenes bathed in warm light. Skies can become a subject in themselves with clouds lit up in oranges, reds and pinks.

Peace and Tranquility

There is no one around at dawn. At dusk you can’t move for romantic couples taking selfies on their iPhones but at 5:30am in the morning you will often be alone.

Wind is often low in the early hours which will often result in mill pond calm waters and very little movement in leaves and branches

Me Time

I have started photographing on the Isle of Skye in Scotland at 4:30am, shot happily across multiple locations for 4.5 hours and still joined my family for breakfast in the hotel. The obvious disadvantage of this strategy is that said family are now ready for a days trekking in the wilds and I was ready to go back to bed.

Yosemite National Park

I had travelled 5200 miles…

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