From golden to blue

When it comes to twilight photography, I have learned that the most interesting light is actually at the time you would think the photo shoot is done. Many words are spent on how Golden Hour is often the best time for landscape photography, as the quality of light turns warm, towards orange. Here is an image taken at the very scenic and rocky El Matador State Beach in Malibu, during said Golden Hour.

Golden Hour at El Matador State Beach, Malibu, California

Smooth Waters I

Despite the above, I have come to much prefer Blue Hour: arriving afterwards, when the orange and red hues turn into purple and then blue. This can yield the most exquisite color palette, typically much more subtle than during Golden Hour.

Blue Hour at El Matador State Beach, Malibu, California

Sunset Blues

Aside from the occasional engagement or model shoot at the beginning of Golden Hour, El Matador beach is a peaceful and quiet spot off the Pacific Coast Highway, and a place I hope to return to often.

© 2010-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

If only the rains would return

Rain can be beautiful. Bad weather makes landscapes look so much more interesting: it adds depth and structure to the sky, and can do wonderful things for color and mood. Not to mention, it would prevent California from drying out… Wouldn’t it be lovely for the rains to return.

These images were taken some time ago near the pier in Venice Beach, California at a dreary, rainy dawn, which allowed for a great mood to be set.

Rainy dawn at Venice Beach pier, California

Pier at Dawn I

Rainy dawn at Venice Beach pier, California

Pier at Dawn II

Eventually though, as it usually does in southern California, the sun broke through. The remaining clouds and their reflection on the pier that was still drenched created the most magnificent color palette.

Rainy dawn at Venice Beach pier, California

Pier at Dawn V

Copyright © 2011-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.

The photographer’s voice

A new portfolio. A new blog. Just tweeted my first tweet. It is official: we have liftoff!

In the process of creating the new website, I had to very thoroughly go through my old portfolio. That was a surprising experience: however convinced I used to be that I had a tightly edited portfolio, tight is the last thing it was! Quickly reaching the conclusion that this should really be done regularly, I went about the business of cutting the weeds.

This led to yet another realization: to find your voice as a photographer, a good hard look at past work (especially the portfolio-worthy part) is crucial. Why only the part that we deem portfolio-worthy? That is the body of work that we are excited about – because it contains our creative vision. I learned a great deal about my photographic voice doing this. In bold colors or high-contrast black and white, I am seeking distinction in the ordinary, and quietude in the extraordinary. More concretely, this could mean finding striking abstract patterns in an ordinary street scene, or a clean and unusual view in a spectacular landscape for example.

Seeking distinction in the ordinary, and quietude in the extraordinary.

A few years ago I visited Upper Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona. This has to be one of the most photographed scenes in the world; not the easiest spot to create an original image! One of the things people look for are beams of sunlight coming into the slot canyon:

Beam of sunlight in Upper Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

Beam

A nice image, but not exactly original. With thirty-odd photographers lined up to take exactly this shot, I decided to turn the other way, where not a single soul was looking. And there it was: this stunning and tranquil scene of a large tree branch turned into driftwood, lit as if on a Broadway stage, going unnoticed by the crowds. I found my original image, my quietude in the extraordinary.

Driftwood in Upper Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

Sunlit III

Copyright © 2010-2015 Laura Jewell Photography. All rights reserved.