Travel Photography – When’s The Best Time To Photograph Popular Destinations?

Early morning.  There, just saved you from having to read the next 300+ words…  You’re welcome.  Still here?  Alright, I guess I can go into a little more detail.  There are two really great times, in regards to lighting, to photograph anyplace; sunrise and sunset.  Now, I’m not just talking about the instant the sun has risen above the horizon or the second that bright ball of fire has dipped below the horizon…  I’m talking about the time leading up to and after sunrise and sunset.

There are two parts of the day that are great in regards to lighting but only one of them will allow you to photograph what you want without the hassle of trying to avoid other tourists (If you’re practicing street photography you can ignore this, tourists are your bread and butter).

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Sunset at Ke’e Beach

Probably the most popular place on the North side of Kauai is the Ke’e Beach located at the very end of Kuhio Hwy, people park miles away and walk to the beach for its excellent snorkeling and scenery.  At sunset the beach is littered with a plethora of tourist and locals alike…  The beach is one of the best places on the entire island to watch the day end.

Capturing sunsets in popular places like this is doable but you’ll have to angle your camera in a way that avoids everyone else doing the same thing.  Sometimes it works out but sometimes the image needs to include other parts of the landscape to strengthen the composition.

JMB_8781Here’s a good example of shooting early in the morning to avoid the crowds that sunsets attract.  This shot wasn’t taken at sunrise but it was early enough that people weren’t swimming and peeing in it like they normally are.

0615_untitled_013Visiting Tunnels Beach at sunrise worked out great, all the hippies in tents were still sleeping when I took this shot.  About an hour after this the beach was packed and there were snorkelers snorkeling around the surf like it was going out of style.  Sunset was a different story, the beach was packed and there were people swimming even after the sun had just set…  They obviously never saw the movie Jaws.

When is your favorite time to photograph while traveling?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.  Join us on the PhotolisticLife Flickr page to share photos and participate in future contests.

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