Twilight Photography

By Bill Miller
Personally, I love travel photography.  That’s my thing, and my wife, Sandy, and I have had the good fortune to visit and photograph beautiful locations both around the world and in our great country.  Still, excellent photographs can be made at home, wherever you live.  The secret is seeing an interesting subject and imaging how it would look in different conditions . . . ideal conditions.
For me, I like photographing just before sunrise or just after sunset, a time when most people are still asleep or eating dinner.  For example, I’m sure thousands of pictures of the Cookeville Railroad Depot are taken every year, but I wanted to make an image that might look different.

I chose a clear winter day just after the sun dipped below the horizon in order to even out the lighting and eliminate harsh shadows that can be a problem during mid day.  When the sun is down you should be prepared with a tripod so that slower shutter speeds will allow the camera to gather enough light but still enable you to get a sharp image.  The downside of slow shutter speeds is that moving objects will blur, but depending on what you want to achieve, this can be a creative choice. For this type of photograph, artificial lighting is a must for me to add visual interest.
For the Depot image, I used a 2-second exposure at f/11, but as it gets darker, the shutter speed will have to be continually slowed to gather a decreasing amount of light.
In addition to the Cookeville Railroad Depot photo, I have included some travel images using the same technique.  Unlike the depot, you  will notice the use of water to reflect lighting.