Is it just too hot to photograph a new orleans summer? Not for Magic Hour Photography. / by Zack Smith Photography

I hear it day in day out "it's too hot to shoot" or "I can only last an hour in this heat!". Photographers all over the city are complaining that they can't hone their craft when it's so hot outside that they end up not shooting at all! During these sweltering summer months in New Orleans  (really, anywhere now!)  you need to wake up early or stay out late to get the most out of your outdoor photography. Magic Hour photography is a GREAT way to get out there for longer periods without draining your energy and staying creative. 

 A row of homes on Claiborne Avenue

There's the Magic Hour in photography where the sun hangs low in it's ascent or descent on our willing horizon. Photographers that chase this light know that it is never an hour, or even a half of one hour...it's really an elusive moment that comes and goes. On a drive to mid-city New Orleans from my home in Chalmette I was winked at by the world's eye. The sun was calling, and I laid chase.

 The battle of Warm and Cool is in perfect symmetry and motion during the Magic Hour

The battle of Warm and Cool is in perfect symmetry and motion during the Magic Hour

Photographing in this low sun immediately makes the light so much softer and this is best represented in how our overall tonal range is expressed. When you photograph when the sun is directly overhead, or even close to the middle of the day, you will see how far apart in exposure the shadows are from the highlights. It is very hard to capture all of the rich details when your contrast is so high. 

 Being in focus has nothing to do with sharpness sometimes...

Being in focus has nothing to do with sharpness sometimes...

Are there some photography classes in New Orleans that teach Magic Hour Photography?

Over the course of the last 15 years I have taught "NOLA at NIGHT", an introduction to long exposure night photography and low light photography. Over the last few years I have begun this photography workshop before Magic Hour so that we can shoot in this great low light before it turns night. You can always see the next Night Photography Workshop I have have by going to my webpage here! 

 We stared each other in the eye knowing the chase was over, only to begin again

We stared each other in the eye knowing the chase was over, only to begin again