Bruce Yonce Photography
Full service, customer oriented photography specializing in :
portraits; location and studio, color and back and white
maternity and newborn potraits
and band photography.
Whether your photography is for an architectural client or a zoo day from an annual corporate event, we have photo editing services that fit your needs. Our A-Z services include bundles tailored for weddings and popular portrait shoots. Let our U.S.-based team assist you to achieve the perfect results.
Accepted photography wisdom tells us that we are likely to take our best landscape or cityscape shots within a few miles of where we live. It makes perfect sense of course because, if the weather is not perfect, you can revisit the site at another time of day or in a different season. But how many of us actually do that? I suspect there are a handful of dedicated photographers who will do just that but, for most of us, the pressures of our real lives just don't allow us the time. Also we are not very good at really seeing the things that are so familiar to us, the things we pass every day. How often do you visit a museum in your home town, except when you are entertaining visitors? Yet it's one of the highlights of a visit to the other side of the world.
Holiday time is the one time we all have our cameras at the ready, we're in a strange new place, the sun is shining and we want to record our surroundings and happy memories. It used to be a bit of a cliché in the old days of film that the average 24 or 36 exposure film would have the summer holiday in the middle and Christmas on either end. These were the two annual events that brought the cameras out from their dusty hiding places.
The problem with holiday photography is that you never seem to be in the right place at the right time. There are certain times of day that are better for photography than others. At midday the light is at it's brightest, the color of the light is quite cool and, because the sun is high in the sky, the shadows can be very harsh and awkward to deal with especially when photographing people. We've all taken those shots of faces with panda eyes, where the sun is so bright on the person's forehead, and the eye sockets are completely black. So the first and probably the most valuable piece of advice is:-
I'm sorry to have to tell you that, when it comes to getting the best shots of scenery, nothing beats getting up early. Yes, even when you're on holiday photography has to be done at the 'right' time of day. For the shot above, taken in Bruges in Belgium, I got up a little early and, while the rest of the party were having a leisurely breakfast, I went for a walk with my camera. This gave me three advantages over trying to get these shots in the middle of the day. The light was beautiful, the sun was low in the sky even though it was July, and the color has a distinct warmth to it. There are no people around. After ten o'clock this stretch of water would be absolutely littered with sightseeing boats churning up the water. I am not feeling guilty about holding up the rest of the party who, although very patient with me, have their own agenda for the day. The light will have a similar quality in the evening as the sun once again reaches a similar height in the sky, but there will be a lot more people around, which may or may not be a good thing. There are times, such as a visit to the local market, when having lots of people in the shot can be a good thing, but most of the time I find I prefer my street scenes to be less crowded.
Don't put your camera away after the sun goes down, that's the time when you can get some of your best shots. If you can find something to lean on and have a steady hand, it is perfectly possible to take pictures like these hand-held. You would probably be advised to use a fairly high ISO setting say 1600 ISO and set the exposure compensation to -1 ev or so, maybe even -2ev, because you want the bulk of the picture, which is the sky, to be very dark. All this leads me neatly on to talking about what you need and don't need to take with you in the way of equipment.