Tip #35: Twilight Can Be Magic

Twilight in Joshua Tree - Joshua Tree NP, California
Canon 5D MarkII + 15mm f2.8 Fisheye
Twilight occurs between dawn and sunrise or dusk and sunset. With the sun sitting just below the horizon, light scatters throughout the upper atmosphere and gently illuminates the land. I live for the twilight hours; this is the time when birds sing and crepuscular species are out and about. The soft light brings out the magic in an otherwise rugged landscape that is too contrasty to photograph during the day. You need to prep for your twilight shoot. Pre-scout the landscape for a strong photographic subject or key point of interest before the sun begins to set. Be prepared to work fast and know how to use your camera as the twilight hour is an ephemeral event. Effective twilight photography will require a sturdy tripod, remote release, and patience. Just when you think the moment is over, wait it out. Just prior to darkness the sky can turn indigo, magenta, or green... there is just a bit of magic dust in the physics that illuminates the landscape.
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