Friday, July 11, 2008

Once Bitten, Twice Sky

There's Always An Opportunity On The Horizon

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


There's nothing better than combining a Sky Watch Friday post with some advice on landscape photography. I've been asked a couple of times if it's better to wait for a clear blue sky - and my answer is always to photograph what you see, rather than waiting for the weather to change.

A moody, grey sky can be great to work into a landscape shot. But I always reckon the best colours in a sky are those just before dawn and just after dusk. Why? Because the light from the sun below the horizon always reflects off clouds, producing a brilliant kaleidoscope of hues. Yes, cloudless blue skies are great - but you might have to wait a while for the right weather.

In essence, why wait? Just get your camera out and start shooting. This series of frames was shot about four weeks ago, late on a sunny autumn evening when there was a bit of light haze. I've published all three shots here to give you an idea of how to look for little extras that endow a shot with a bit more character.


In the first shot, I've simply captured a couple of office buildings and their shimmering reflection. But in the second (above) you'll see that I've moved a few yards down the river bank to get some branches into the shot. Same scene, different perspective - and it works a bit more cohesively.

Finally, the last shot (below) is a horizontal frame to provide a wider reference point. Again, the scene is a simple one and while the haze works over the main focal points, the silhouettes provide a softer touch. Never be afraid to experiment. Don't concentrate on one single viewpoint. You'll be amazed at the results.

For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch Friday.

39 comments:

Cheffie-Mom said...

Hi David, How are you? Great I hope! I love the new pictures. The reflections are amazing. You have inspired me to take more photographs! LOL! Have a wonderful day!

katherine. said...

I always learn something new here...

Max-e said...

Hi David good advice and a nice series. I always feel that if you wait you may never get another opportunity, so seize the moment.

fishing guy said...

David: I agree, I often say sieze the moment with your camera. You have gotten some wonderfu reflective shots.

Dancin' Fool said...

I like those a lot. Taken from a peaceful place looking into chaos!

I am not a city girl, but I like looking from the outside!

Have a great weekend!

quinttarantino said...

Once upon a time there was this great and fantastic group of people who blogged and photographed … with a click, click here, a snap, snap there, all of them had a week to look upon the sky … day and night, by dusk or dawn, sunrise or sunset … and always there where great and fantastic photos to be seen when SKY WATCH was opened …

I am one of those proud sky watchers and I really enjoy each and every one of the photos you show us. I really think you are a first class sky watcher!

Maggie May said...

I love reflections! Great pictures.

GoneBackSouth said...

I'd like to be on a little row boat floating on that water. It looks really quiet.

Picturing of Life said...

great sky pics

Visit mine also in here Thanks

Kim said...

Great shots and thank you for the advise. Looks like we have a cloudy day today.

Kim

Marie said...

Great sky watch again!

Nessa said...

Great shots. I love just moving around on the same scene. It's amazing what turns up.

For The People said...

Great Skywatch Friday! I am so glad that Tom hosts this. I get to see so many new places through the pictures of you guys! Have a great week!

ArneA said...

My wife and daughter went to Langkawi in 1995. I never found any time for this resort. Hope you hav a wonderful time.

mirage2g said...

Great tips to go with the equally lovely photos, Thanks so much! Have a nice weekend!

Visiting from Vienna Daily.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Cheers David, I see you now resting on a hammock being fed grapes and sipping cocktails..

imac said...

Great post again David.


You will be amazed at my SW.pop and see.

CrazyCath said...

Wow - I see what you mean. I scarcely noticed the bridge until the last shot. The horizontal of the frame makes it stand out better, without overtaking the subject of the frame.

Brilliant shots and a great lesson - thanks.

bobbie said...

You're absolutely right. Take the picture when it's there before you. and look what great ones you managed to take.

Cowgirl said...

Great Sky Watch shots, particularly liked the last one. There is beauty everywhere, isn't there? You just have to open your eyes and LOOK.

esnorway said...

thanks for great pics and tips. have nice weekend

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Thanks, David, for the photography lesson. Since I am usually awake and up before sunrise, I shall not take the opportunity to do some skyline photography.

SandyCarlson said...

I love the way you "take in" the view!

napaboaniya said...

Now shots of the sky and buildings! :) Hope you're enjoying your Malaysia trip, I'm looking forward to the pictures!!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Seize the moment. Great advice.

Sandi McBride said...

You always give me the travel bug...you and Merisi...
Sandi

The Texican said...

Verse and Worse. Just show your sky. How about some apple pie? Why do they build those building so high? When they know that on Friday we're starved for just sky.

Sharon said...

Great pictures! Thanks for the tips, you're right! why wait! I like the way you framed the building with the branches.

Suzanne said...

Wonderful photos of winter weather. I always think you can take photos no matter what. Happy SWF.

Anemone said...

Just great shots, and I love the siluette of the buildings :-)

alicesg said...

Beautiful SWF photo. Love the buildings among the sky. Have a nice weekend and vacation.

mrs. emi said...

Hi Friend,
Just stop by to say hi,
Wish you have a great day.
Take care oog

babooshka said...

I have learnt when taking my own that the grey moody skies are my friends and work with them. Great reflections. Cityscapes have a beauty all their own.

Anne-Berit said...

Great sky watch as always!

Kahshe Cottager said...

All of the shots seen by themselves are nice but with your explanation, it is quite clear why the last one is the best of the series! Thanks for the mini lesson!

My SkyWatch Here

the teach said...

Thanks, David, for the mini-lesson! Great idea! Happy Skywatch! :)

becky voyles said...

The building on the left with the 2 pointy poles reminds me of a either the AT&T building or Alabama Power building in Birmingham, Al. We call it "the Batman building".

AnneKa said...

Hallo from North Norway. Last week I saw all Sky Watch Friday photos and they were all great, and I hope to see them all this week too. I love to travel around the world this way.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful sky watch photos and have a great weekend!

John said...

Great shots and thanks for the lesson!