Whenever I tell my mom where I’ve been photographing, her now classic response is, "Haven’t you been there already?” To which, my classic response is, “Well, yes, but it’s always different.” After about 10 years of this, I’ve given up trying to explain to my dear mother, but I’ve not given up on going back to locations at different times of day.
I discovered a perfect situation where to revisit at sunrise and at sunset on a recent teaching trip to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. During a workshop, I have very little to no time to scout out a location, so I’m at the mercy of my assistants and locals for advice on locations. Fortunately, the scouting was good and the workshop went well. But, afterwards, I was free to do a little exploring on my own and found a pretty cool and graphic set of rocks that are visible at high and low tide. I say that because a lot of times, elements that are visible will differ at different times of day, because of the tides.
So I walked down to this rock formation at dawn and noticed that the sun is coming up way off to my left behind some houses. Since my shooting position was down a hill, it was apparent that no warm morning light would be lighting my subjects. Actually, no light would hit this area for hours! So, I took time to make some nice graphic images in cool blue light. But, I did realize that the sun would be setting behind a low tree line over my right shoulder and, if conditions were right, would light up this area like a big warm flood light.
The sky remained blue and sun was hot. I got the to scene early, picked out some compositions in advance, so I wasn’t guessing, and waited for the light get dramatic! Luckily, it did!
These two images reflect the two scenarios on that day: morning light in the shade, then lit up by a warm sunset.
It’s a good practice in general to check out your favorite local scenes at sunset and sunrise at various times of year. You’ll be amazed at the difference qualities of light you’ll witness, and hopefully photograph!