Timing of an Image

I’ve lived in the D.C. area since 1997.  During that time, I’ve seen plenty of construction occurring throughout the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to you out-of-towners).  When I first traveled across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, this area was undeveloped with trees along the bank of the Potomac.

Shortly afterward, the National Harbor construction began.  Over time, I watched them drudge out the mud and sediment and fashion this natural habitat to its current commercial state.  Whenever I drove across the bridge, I wondered how I could capture the new landscape.  However, I didn’t know where.  There’s a walkway for pedestrians and cyclists, but it’s on the inside of the bridge and cars would obstruct the view.  As I was riding my bike across the bridge one day, I took a path and it brought me to a clearing where I had a beautiful view of the Harbor.  I finally found my spot!  Now, I just needed to come back at the right time to capture the image.

MI_Canon EOS 6D_00127

I read this photography article several years ago about the importance of timing.  I learned about photographing during twilight.  It forever changed my perspective about natural lighting.  It helped me to understand and capture images during a fleeting moment in time.  I liked the way I framed the image, but it doesn’t have much color with the dull gray sky.

I came early to prepare and practice and I ended with the following image.

MI_Canon EOS 6D_00127-21

Along with this slightly wider angle version of the image as well.

MI_Canon EOS 6D_00127-35

Once the magic moment passes, the image looks like this.

MI_Canon EOS 6D_00127-50

The dark sky strips the color out of the image.  The twilight period with the blue sky lasts approximately 15 minutes.  It can be more or less depending on the time of year and weather conditions.  Therefore, it’s important to prepare early to be ready for the opportunity because one doesn’t know how long it’ll last.  A lesson for life within that story.  That’s why I keep shooting.



Chasing Waterfalls

After my time at the Tidal Basin photographing Cherry Blossoms, I wanted to pursue additional outdoor subjects.  I checked with my fellow photog David ‘Abu’ of Original Fotografie, and he suggested Bushkill Falls.


The timing was great because I had a two-week break from the track meets that normally consume my Saturday.  We headed to the park shortly after noon.  The park was approximately four hours away and we hoped to get some late evening photos at the park.  This park is called the “Niagara of Pennsylvania”.  The impressive collection of falls gave some merit to the name.

We arrived at our hotel, dropped off our bags and headed to the park.  We got to the park five minutes before 6PM.  That’s when we confronted the reality that parks don’t think like photographers.  We believe the best natural light occurs shortly before sunrise and after sunset.  However, the park closed at 6PM and it didn’t open until 9AM Saturday morning.

We wanted to be there during the first light but the 9AM opening time wouldn’t allow it.  Fortunately, the day started off perfect for us.  The sky provided the perfect cover for us.  Then it got worse as the sunshine and blue sky appeared.  A sunny day produces shadows resulting in uneven colors.  Therefore, a cloudy day with consistent colors is my preference.


We managed to get quality shots and I enjoyed spending the day capturing God’s creations.  During my post-processing, I utilized HDR on some photos to reveal the greenery surrounding the impressive waterfalls.