27 June 2011

Embrace The Twilight

Check out my guest blog post over at the Nature Visions Blog where I discuss photographing this magical time of day. As a companion to that post, here is a gallery of some of my favorite images taken during morning and evening twilight and a top ten list. Questions about more detailed technique, the settings for or story behind a particular shot, or how to find the right place and time to photograph civil twilight? Just leave a comment below and I'll reply.

Twilight - Images by Elijah Goodwin

Here (in no particular order) are my top ten suggestions for getting the most out of photographing civil twilight:

1. Use a tripod (every time, even if you have image stabilization).

2. Use a cable or remote release on long exposures to further avoid shake.

3. Use the mirror lock-up function on your camera during long exposures.

4. Use in-camera long exposure noise reduction or, if like with my camera, that actually adds noise, shoot without it and consider using a post-processing program with noise reduction.

5. If you are photographing in the morning on the coast, you may want to consider arriving for nautical twilight instead.

6. Experiment with HDR techniques or graduated ND filters to get detail in foreground objects as well as the much brighter sky.

7. Look for good shapes for silhouettes.

8. Look for water sources to reflect the light in the sky and help brighten/break up the dark foreground somewhat.

9. Experiment with motion blur.  This is particularly effective with waves or flowing water.

10. Bring a flashlight (that works and with fresh batteries).  I almost ran smack into two bears in the dark on the trail last week in Shenandoah with an extremely dim flashlight. Yikes!

There are also many other great posts from other Mid-Atlantic nature photographers on the Nature Visions blog so be sure to check out the old posts.  Also, if you are in the area, be sure to check out the 2011 Nature Visions Expo which will feature one of my favorite photographers Art Wolfe as the keynote speaker.  You can also follow Nature Visions Expo on Twitter @NatureVisionsEx.


  1. Beautiful Work. Who turned and scampered in the opposite direction of one another first; you or the bears?! That would definitely be a heart stopping experience!

  2. It was the bears, since I couldn't see anything but the eye shine, I convinced myself/hoped they were deer and kept pushing on down towards my car. I had been clicking my tripod legs together to avoid any unpleasant surprises, but they held their ground for quite a bit. It wasn't until I got to where they had been standing and saw the termite/ant infested log strewn across the trail that I realized they actually were bears...

  3. Wow! Wonderful post filled with exceptionally beautiful photographs and useful information. Elijah, I am in awe of your great talent!

  4. Thanks Julie! I'm in awe of yours too!