Aug 11, 2023

the crepuscular photographer

crepuscular - latin: cupusculum - twilight.  a crepuscular animal is primarily active during the twilight period around dawn, dusk or both.  may also be active during moonlight.

there is a rhythm in nature i find quite compelling.  often difficult to feel in the tightly structured daily schedules of modern life, adventures in nature can reconnect us with a more natural process.

nature photography can be a simple way to explore this rhythm as it is primarily focused on quality of light. the blue hours before dawn and after sunset and the golden hour after dawn and before sunset offer a very regular and easily accessible process to nature's rhythm.

both landscape and wildlife are best displayed by this light, hence a photography trek tends to revolve around and follow this rhythm. one of the many joys for me of a 5-7 day wandering is feeling the transition from town-life schedule to this crepuscular rhythm. it often takes a few hours to transition, usually on the drive into mountains or desert. and then, there is a palpable feeling of change, or difference.  almost like being able to breathe more fully, deeply, or even, be aware that we are breathing. vision clarifies, hearing is heightened and the ever present calling of nature is more obvious.

up a few hours before dawn for some nourishment and get to a good spot. witness blue and golden light of dawn. explore for a good sunset location. take a nap. up for nourishment and sunset hours. continue into the night with moonlight. sleep. repeat. every day. nice.

listening then following this calling allows a creative process to unfold that is rarely the original plan, nor leads to a pre-defined place.

a spring trek this year started as five days during the peak bird migration around frenchglen.  arriving, there were few birds and charred marsh grass from prescribed burns for background. heard hart mountain and pronghorn antelope call the following day and arrive to find all campgrounds closed due to snow. next day ventured into warner valley to find no water, zero. no water no birds. continued on to summer lake for some of the best birding ever.

three photos from this 600 mile trip reflect this creative process: avocet mirrored, young bucks at dawn; before dawn.

crepusculum photograhalias - an uncommon variety of photographer often found in remote areas with few people. rarely seen during daylight hours, often preferring to nap. may sometimes be captured on trail cams quietly wandering twilight or moon lit hours in search of the elusive, yet always present, perfect light.

thank you to allen taylor for adding crepuscular to my birding vocabulary.

Comments (0)