Find the Right Light on the Road

By Lane Erickson

“The artist vocation is to send light into the human heart.” – Robert Schumann

I love a good road trip! I love to explore new places. Driving on a road I’ve never been on before is like sleeping in and eating a piece of chocolate cake rolled together. 

I mentioned in a previous post that my wife and I took a short road trip recently. We drove through Yellowstone National Park in the morning. Spent mid-day in Teton National Park, and the evening between Driggs and Ashton, Idaho. It was a fantastic drive and a wonderful day. 

My wife was a good sport. She brought along things to read and do, knowing I would be stopping frequently to photograph everything that caught my eye.  

I wasn’t really looking for things though. What I was looking for was light.

I’ve found that looking for light, rather than looking for specific things is what usually leads to my best photography. 

You might be particularly interested to know that this road trip took place in September 2019, on Friday the 13th, a bad omen for most people. I didn’t really care. I had a great day. Also, I had perfect faith in the ability of the Fujifilm cameras and lenses I used on this trip, even if it was Friday the 13th.  My Fuji gear didn’t let me down!

For all of these images, I used my Fuji X-T1 cameras, along with a variety of lenses.  I’ll share more of the technical details below. 

Here are just a few of the images I was able to create during this road trip as I looked for great light:

7:16 AM – Elk in Steamy Meadow – Yellowstone National Park

Fuji XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 OIS WR lens. ISO 200, 1/2400 (it was bright) at f/8, Aperture Priority. 

8:09 AM – Spider Web – Yellowstone National Park

Fuji XF 55-200 f/3.5-4.8 OIS lens. ISO 200, 1/30 at f/8, Aperture Priority. 

8:37 AM – Firehole River Cascade – Yellowstone National Park

Fuji XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS lens. ISO 100, 21 seconds at f/22 (with a neutral density filter) Aperture Priority. 

11:23 AM – Lily Pads in Pond – Yellowstone National Park

Samyang 8mm fisheye f/2.8 lens, ISO 200, 1/150 at f/11, Aperture Priority. 

4:16 PM – Backlit Pine Trees on Ridge – Idaho Side of Jackson Pass

Fuji XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 OIS WR lens. ISO 200, 1/260 at f/5.6, Aperture Priority. 

6:41 PM – Furrowed Field with Pivot Line – North of Driggs Idaho

Fuji XF 55-200 f/3.5-4.8 OIS lens. ISO 200, 1/125 at f/8, Aperture Priority.

6:44 PM – Tractor with Tetons in Background – North of Driggs Idaho (on the other side of the road from the previous image)

Fuji XF 55-200 f/3.5-4.8 OIS lens. ISO 200, 1/250 at f/8, Aperture Priority.

7:21 PM – Backlit Road – Between Driggs and Ashton, Idaho

Fuji XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 OIS WR lens. ISO 200, 1/130 at f/8, Aperture Priority.

These are just a few of the images I was able to create during this fantabulously fun road trip. The key was just looking to find the right light. When you look for the light, great images can be created.

As always, feel free to comment, critique or criticize.  Thanks for reading.

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