This post will demonstrate just how fast light can change, especially during sunrise and sunset.
These three images, taken in the same location on the same day within a half-hour window, demonstrate just how quickly light can change. Therefore, it is often necessary to scout out locations before setting up your desired image so that you can be ready to capture the scene when the light is perfect.
Of course, perfect light is a subjective quality. All three of these images are wonderful, which means all three lighting scenarios are desirable. I spent as much time as I could at this spot, snapping images as the light changed. In fact, I was hoping that the entire cloud would light up pink as the sun sank below the horizon, but only the edge glowed with color. Still, there’s nothing lose by trying. I can always return to this spot if the conditions appear to improve.
There are always times when you don’t have this luxury. When traveling, for instance, you’re likely to visit a place once and move on, so you only have the lighting and weather conditions present at the time. Some times you get lucky, and some times the conditions are less than ideal. But if you ever do get the luxury to scout locations ahead of time, take that opportunity, because you’ll return with some amazing images.