In these “After Hours” posts, members of the group tell the stories behind the pictures they have posted, and explain what motivates and inspires them. This week we have a treat for you. Tana Teel is not one of our core members, but she has been keeping up with The Hours in our Flickr group all year long. We decided to ask Tana to share the story behind her September 3pm image:
•Which camera did you use? Why?
My Sony A77, which more times than not has the 50mm 1.8 attached. It’s light and very convenient to pack in my camera bag and take with me everywhere, along with film in my Pentax K1000, but sometimes it takes more than a month to get through all the images on a roll of film so it’s the digital that gets to share her pictures.
My goal for the year was to pay closer attention to light at that specific hour, and watch how it changes with each hour over the year. I love to watch light, and to do it with a purpose at a particular hour each month really helps train one’s eye to see light, so I was excited for The Hours challenge. I also wanted to not only take beautifully lit images, but to push my comfort zone and break the rules, or at least bend them; to catch the light dance with shadows, or look for lovely light at the harshest times of the day and capture a moment that might tell a story. I learn more about light by watching it, searching for it, and purposely breaking rules at times and I know I’ve certainly enjoyed seeking out the light.
•Was this a typical day for you?
Pretty much. I’m often out and about in the afternoon with chores, running errands, or other activities with my kids and husband depending on the time of year, or day of the week. This was a Saturday, so we were outside with the horses at a friend’s arena. I tend to come out of my cave (er, my house/office) in the afternoons, and almost always have a camera nearby! Ha ha!
•Why did you choose to post this photo?
We were in the arena with the horses roping and I was taking pictures of my husband riding. I was hoping to get something interesting to use for the 3pm challenge, and then I looked over at my daughter who was leaning against the fence watching through her mirrored sunglasses. I noticed how the shadows of the fence were forming at her feet, so I decided to pick up those shadows in her sunglasses. It was just a fun, albeit maybe rather cliche shot, but the light was soft and pretty around her and it just clicked for me.
•Do you usually shoot at this hour or was this new for you?
3pm is a fairly typical time to find myself shooting throughout most of the year. I almost always have my camera with me, even when I run to town for an errand and I’m not afraid to shoot at anytime of the day. (Except sunrise. I’m not a morning person!) I never know what I’ll find on the way to town and am always glad to have at least one camera on me to capture it! In the spring and summer we are often busy outside with activities around the horses and cows or sports like baseball or rodeo. In the fall with warm days becoming shorter it is still filled with outdoor activities/chores but getting closer to that lovely late afternoon light, while still possessing the brightness of afternoon to present some interesting contrast. In winter it is the cool golden hour of the setting sun at feeding time.
•And a final shot from you? Or maybe a few?
Want to see more of Tana’s photos of life in her little farming town of Prosser Washington, which is known for wine, hops, and apples? Visit her on Flickr, on her website, on Facebook, and on Stocksy. Thank you so much for joining us today and throughout our project, Tana!