Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

Taking pictures on overcast days is so much easier these days

I have been trying to get outside to wander in the snow with my camera, but everything kept getting in the way. So when Jo told me she had to take her daughter to a doctor appointment I asked her to drop me off at my favourite wandering place, Chase Creek Falls.

I figured that would give me at least an hour to take some photos and I was hoping to be alone in that snowy canyon on the cold, overcast Monday morning.

I like storms, and I like the mood one can get in a photograph on an overcast day. Jo dropped me off along the road and I walked down along the well-worn path through the snow. I picked a good day. From the looks of all the trodden snow, Sunday must have been pretty active. Stopping along the creek to take a long exposure of a rock glowing golden in the cold water I thought about why I like digital cameras and all the photographic creativity that goes along with modern technology.

I am continually meeting people that assume someone of my age would still be using film. Gosh, I could fill a page writing about why I don’t bother photographing anything with a film camera. At that moment as I mounted my camera on my tripod to photograph that golden glowing rock I thought about how hard it used to be to make pictures on overcast days and was glad for the modern equipment I have.

I mounted my 24-70mm lens on my camera and selected an ISO of 1600. Then set my shutterspeed to eight seconds, chose an aperture of f/11 and with the camera’s self-timer activated, I pushed the shutter release. I easily refocused on a couple of different rocks in the creek besides the golden rock to make sure my depth of field would cover everything in my viewfinder. Released the shutter a few times and moved on down the stream.

Sunny days are such a struggle for a photographer wanting to photograph a waterfall.

Sure, one can get a glowing landscape, but I like to have contrast in the water even when I use a long exposure, so overcast is great. Anyway I wanted to capture the cold winter mood and if I need to highlight a particular feature like a rock, or log, or foliage I just do that in later in post production.

The Chase Falls is always a perfect subject. All I had to do was poke around in the snow with my tripod to make sure there weren’t any spaces between the rocks or a soft spot in the ice as I moved around photographing the falls from different locations, and then eventually sitting on a bare rock to listen for a while and look at the monochromatic January landscape.

I am fortunate not to have to drive and hike hours to enjoy such a photogenic location. Now I am waiting for more snow so I can collect winter photographs in the garden that hides my home from the road. Today there is a light covering, but it’s been so warm that the snow isn’t clinging to the plants. Ah, but its January, and there’s a few more months of snow to come and more winter photography.

These are my thoughts for this week. Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net. Stop by Enman’s Camera at 423 Tranquille Road in Kamloops. I sell an interesting selection of used photographic equipment. Don’t hesitate to call me at 250-371-3069.

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