Archive for San Gabriel Mountains Forum
  Forum Index -> General Discussion

What's your favorite time to hike and take photos?

What's your favorite time to hike and take photos?

Looking back through the photos Iíve taken over the years, I always seem to gravitate towards those that were taken around sunrise. In particular the 2 hours that surround sunrise, approximately starting an hour before until an hour after. When people hear what time I start my hikes, I'm usually told I'm crazy and that the views can't possibly be worth the trouble.

With daylight savings time ending this week, I've been thinking about this and the fact that colder weather and needing to start even earlier to get these shots tends to decrease the number of people that are available (or crazy enough) to hike with me. I'm hoping I can trick some of my new hiking buddies to head out with me still.

Anyway, here are some of the sunrise photos I've taken on my early hikes. They never do what I saw justice, but they help me remember why I need to get out there:
 My Favorite Time to Hike and Take Photos (gallery of 40+ sunrise photos)

Here are some highlights:  





When's your favorite time to hit the trail?

Best photo time

Either early morning or late afternoon work best and not necessarily for sunrise or sunset pictures. The low angle sun is a softer light. Once higher in the sky, sunlight is more harsh with brilliant highlights and deep shadows. The wide dynamic range presents exposure problems that are difficult to solve. I read somewhere that Ansel Adams spent the middle of the day in the darkroom. He looked for shooting opportunities early or late.

Here's my spin on outdoor photography.  While on Denali back in the 1990s I stopped taking photographs.  I was trying to line up a 'perfect shot' at the top of Motorcycle Hill in the early evening twilight (pretty much impossible with the overwhelmingly grand views up there), I suddenly realized I was missing out by limiting myself to what could be seen through a viewfinder.  I still take a camera with me, but use it only sparingly  (gotta have that summit shot!!   Smile  ).

While I enjoy a good sunrise scene as much as any normal,  masculine man, I prefer it when the sun is perfectly positioned for my scouting pictures of whatever silly Canyon or Ridge I'm considering attempting next.

I think sunrise has the better light. Also has the advantage of fewer people, everyone is up at sunset.
Plus, in places like the Sierras the lakes are generally very calm at that time and you can get better reflection shots.

 Forum Index -> General Discussion
Page 1 of 1