As photographers, we are always talking about how the “sweet light” of early morning and late evening can really enhance an image. A couple of weeks ago as I was visiting the Palouse this fact was brought to my attention once again in a very dramatic way.
I was actually on my way home going from Colfax to Issaquah and I decided to take one of my favorite roads which is SR 23 between Steptoe and Sprague. This twenty plus mile stretch of road has several nice and accessible barns for photographing. As I drove along I saw one of my favorite barns in very flat light but i decided to stop and shoot it to use as a teaching image demonstrating the idea that good composition in bad light still does not make a good image. The result was the image that you see below.
As I was walking around a bit just enjoying the solitude of this spot and trying to avoid becoming a major meal for the mosquitoes, I noticed a small clearing in the skies to the west. I decided to wait to see if perhaps the sun might break through for a brief moment so I could capture a similar image with good light. This would really help demonstrate the point I wanted to illustrate. As I waited I saw the light begin to break through and for a few short moments I was able to capture the barn in all its glory with good light as you see below.
Hopefully the message you receive from what I have written is twofold. First don’t shoot in bad light and secondly wait, anticipate and be ready for the “sweet light” when it does present itself. If you do you will have a keeper. Good luck with your search as you explore the Palouse.