Finding Your Voice: Day 2. Time of Day.

Welcome to Day 2 of our fun 10-day series: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice”

Today, ponder this…

My favorite time of day is…… 

Final Witness

What IS your favorite time of day? Morning? Afternoon? Evening? That short bit of time after sunrise while the shadows are still long, the light gentle? How about blue hour? Maybe you’re a night owl and love the lights of Paris at 1am… .

Whatever it is, sink into it. FEEL into it. What’s YOUR fave… and why? What is it about this particular time that you love so much? Is it…

  • The cool air of morning before it gets too hot?
  • The quiet of early morning, before everyone’s stirring?
  • The last light of day – that poignant feeling of another day being over?
  • The thrill of the sun rising, a new day starting?
  • The full-on blast of sun at midday?

I’m just throwing out ideas to get your mind going; but you may relate to times of the day differently. Maybe for you it’s when dinner’s ready. Your first coffee of the day. Lunch with friends… it doesn’t matter. The point is they’re your favorite because of how they make you feel. What IS that feeling? That’s what you need to define and pour into your work and art.

A Few Of My Fave Times of Day:

That part of the morning where the sun shines through this forest and makes it feel like being inside of light itself. Not too early, where the light isn’t really radiating – but not too close to noon, where the suns’ too high and bright to contain some mystery. Everything comes to life in a particular way sometime between 8-10am depending upon the time of year in this forest (Felton, CA). When it does, it looks like this (and smells amaaaazing!):

Light in the Forest

If you know me at all, you know I love sunsets! Oh baby, I love the warmth (color and temp), the poignancy of them, the every-changing hues and brilliance of it all. I love the way the air feels during a blasting monsoon season sunset in particular. It’s the light, the colors, the texture of the air itself, the way it feels like a celebration. I’ve been known to weep for the sheer glory of it all. I feel like all of life can be summed up in a single moment of sunset sometimes. I think each one I’ve ever seen lives on inside of me somewhere. Yeah. I love ’em all. Including this one, in Valley of Fire, NV.

Man On The Moon

I love blue hour  in a beautiful city. Here; Honfleur, France. I especially love being by the water when the golden glow of the lights first comes on. Favorite times of day can be place dependent… like it was here.  The complementary colors, the stillness, the restful feeling of the end of a day… all of it. It made me feel peaceful and yet really alive inside.

Harbor Gets The Blues

Mid-afternoon when the winter, snow/puffy clouds/blue sky combo is in play makes me nuts!  It’s hard to explain, but it gives me butterflies of excitement in my stomach, makes me gleeful, I grin like an idiot, I almost can’t concentrate from seeing all the angles all at once and wanting to be IN them all at once. It’s almost a sensory overload kind of thing, but I love it. Here, it went off at Lake Tahoe, NV.

Afternoon At The Lake

At night in historical cities, like Siena, Italy.

Night shooting is like stepping into a whole other world for me. It’s like a storybook; buildings seem to come to life, colors change, long exposures lend a different color and contrast combination to everything. I also get that feeling like when I was a kid and got away with being out later than I was supposed to be. Sneaky, exciting freedom. Everything looks like a movie. Mysteries everywhere. I always make a point to shoot at night when I travel fun places like this – because everything feels so altered, it’s like a new discovery at every turn.

Look Up in Wonder

Now, each of these images reflect my own preferences and delights. YOUR favorite times of day may all involve people. Or dogs. Or buildings. Or food. It doesn’t matter. The point is to feel how they light you up so that you can start looking through the eyes of THAT.

So. My favorite time of day is _________. Start photographing that time of day, feeling all things you love about it. Let those things you love about it guide you and inform you how to show it off at its best. Knowing EXACTLY what you love most about a scene or a moment helps you frame just the bits that define it. Nothing more, nothing less. Which is why if you spend some time with this one… and get really detailed… it’ll teach you how to compose better, too. Have fun with it!

Miss a day? No worries… they’re all right here:

Finding Your Voice, Part 1: My favorite way to feel.
Finding Your Voice, Part 2: My favorite time of day.
Finding Your Voice, Part 3: My favorite light.
Finding Your Voice, Part 4: My favorite texture.
Finding Your Voice, Part 5: My favorite element.
Finding Your Voice, Part 6: My favorite color.
Finding Your Voice, Part 7: My favorite movement.
Finding Your Voice, Part 8: My favorite shapes & patterns.
Finding Your Voice, Part 9: My favorite view.
Finding Your Voice, Part 10: My story.