I originally took and posted this photo in 2009 before I started geotagging my photos, so I’m not completely certain where we were when I captured this. However, I know we were somewhere on Iceland’s extraordinary Snaefellsnes Peninsula on the west coast. Iceland is such an incredible place to visit, and at this time of year we were able to experience these incredibly long and spectacular golden hour sunsets that lit up the world and made everything look fantastic.
Weather can have a profound impact on photos, and bad weather can sometimes be good weather for a photo. However, when dealing with bad weather, improvisation is a critical skill. This turned out to be crucial on a trip to Dartmoor in the southwest of the UK, where overnight storms made the morning dreary, foggy, and gray. I wanted to photograph an ancient 13th century bridge in the hamlet of Postbridge, contrasting it with the fog and rain, but finding a good angle that worked in the conditions turned out to be difficult. Fortunately, a solution happened to be right behind me.
Right after I wrapped up taking my photo of The Barn at Mountain Valley Farm, the owner suggested I check out the view from his apple orchard up the hill behind the barn. The light was fading quickly, and by the time I made it up the hill, the scenery was lit only by an orangey glow from the setting sun behind the Green Mountains. In my mind, I knew I wanted to compose the barn and mountains against that orangey sky. The question was how exactly to do that?
The red barn at the Mountain Valley Farm in Waitsfield, Vermont has always been one of my favorites. It’s a gorgeous and imposing building, painted in a classic bright red, that has been beautifully maintained and preserved. Each time I pass by, I want to stop and take a photo; but the barn sits tightly next to the road and is hard to frame from the road itself. Fortunately, on this particular visit, the owner was nearby and happily granted me permission to explore the property for a better angle.
I love Pagosa Springs, and on one visit in December, 2011 I decided to try taking photos of the night sky using a rented 24mm f/1.4 lens. This was the first time I had taken night photos, so I learned a lot of valuable lessons on this trip. The biggest: finding a shot at night is much harder than finding one during the day.