Old 05-13-2008, 01:28 PM   #1
Somebody in the WWW
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Default Best times of year (and day) for photography

What are your favorite times of year and of day for rail photography?

Here in Australia, it is fast approaching winter, and I am starting to think that winter may be a better time of year for photos than summer, despite plenty of cold and cloudy weather. In summer it is quite difficult to get shots for much of the day that will not be knocked back on here for "high sun", meaning that I have to do much of my afternoon photography after around 3:30pm until 6-7pm to get decent lighting, albeit after 6pm many shadows develop. In many parts of Australia it is still light until 9pm in summer thanks to Daylight Savings, while at the moment it is getting dark around 5:30pm.

On a sunny day in winter, it seems there is a lot less of an issue with high sun and there is generally more hours that are good for photography. For example, I have had multiple shots accepted recently taken between 12:30pm and 1:30pm!

It is approaching summer in the USA now, so most people reading this would be anticipating hot days and plenty of high sun! So as I state above, what are your prefered times of year, and times of day?
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Somebody in the WWW
What are your favorite times of year and of day for rail photography?

Here in Australia, it is fast approaching winter, and I am starting to think that winter may be a better time of year for photos than summer, despite plenty of cold and cloudy weather. In summer it is quite difficult to get shots for much of the day that will not be knocked back on here for "high sun", meaning that I have to do much of my afternoon photography after around 3:30pm until 6-7pm to get decent lighting, albeit after 6pm many shadows develop. In many parts of Australia it is still light until 9pm in summer thanks to Daylight Savings, while at the moment it is getting dark around 5:30pm.

On a sunny day in winter, it seems there is a lot less of an issue with high sun and there is generally more hours that are good for photography. For example, I have had multiple shots accepted recently taken between 12:30pm and 1:30pm!

It is approaching summer in the USA now, so most people reading this would be anticipating hot days and plenty of high sun! So as I state above, what are your prefered times of year, and times of day?
This is the primary reason why I haven't done much railfanning, yet, this year, due to the 'high sun' problem. Now with winter here, I'm intending to do a great deal more (money permitting!). The problem is, this year, on the weekends, hasn't always been the best, weather-wise, so far. And this weekend is forecast to be a rainy one as well.

However, with that said, winter does allow for more usable hours in the day than summer.

Speaking about summer in the US, I'll be visiting at the beginning of September. Which means I'll probably have to stop my shooting by mid-morning, and pick it up again in the late afternoon.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:32 PM   #3
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I like the whole year. Summer really does cut me down to around 8 hours or less to photograph. (6-10, 5-7 around) Spring is boring but after a cold winter the warmer weather is nice but everything is dirty and dark from what the snow left behind and the trees don't have leaves yet. The end of spring will be a great change. Fall is great for light and color, and winter is great for snow storms, fresh white snow, and ice.
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:36 PM   #4
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I prefer winter. On a sunny day, the light is great all day long from sunrise to sunset. Here in Canada, that light may only last for 8 or so hours on the shortest days of the year in December and early January, but it's worth it for the soft, low light. And the snow is just icing (no pun intended) on the cake.

Autumn would be my close second. Again, great lighting around the start of September, and the obvious bonus of the changing colour on the trees. That crisp, cool air... very revitalizing

Not a fan of spring. Light starts to get bad mid-day, and each day that passes it gets worse. I find Spring depressing because it signals the end of winter, and that bug infested, swealtering, high mid-day light that lasts for six or seven hours Summer is coming. The one and only good thing about summer is the opportunities presented by longer days to shoot angles not possible at other times of the year. But there is that big gap in the middle of the day that you have to fill. And it's too freakin' hot!
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:30 PM   #5
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Winter seems to be the time for me, good lighting all day, crisp clear colors, and living in georgia its not overly cold either
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody in the WWW
It is approaching summer in the USA now...
Today being an exception, in Columbia, SC, it is summer now. We've been lucky and have not had any 90 degree days yet, but we do get humid conditions and hazy skies already. In true summer, we're lucky to be able to shoot with clear skies after 10:30. And while some folks wait for the high sun to end around 2 or 3, most days, we're so hazy in the south until 6 p.m. that we're lucky to get any really awesome shots. It's mostly train shots, not scene shots here.

There are always exceptions though and you look for those exceptions.

My favorite time to shoot is October and November. For the most part, it is still warm here, but not humid and hazy. Not as much high sun to worry about in October and none in November. Skies are a pristine blue and there are still leaves on the trees.... and then we get into fall colors!


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