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It's Monday! I'm still in the trenches with the Farm Boy. I'm sleep deprived, no...sleep devastated. Having a new baby in your late 30's is way harder than in your late 20's. I'm exhausted.
My new favorite thing is to head out at sunset and just see what I can catch. It is usually me and Milo (the farm cat), which is why my Instagram is always full of kitty pics. It's my quiet time and just me time. That time is in short supply these days so any chance I get to head out alone with my camera is special. Since it is Memorial Day, I thought I would offer you some quick tips on American Flag photography. Before I do, I should mention that 157 years ago Union Troops were camped on the ridge you see in this picture. Many of them. They fought, they died, over 200 of them were buried here. Some of their things are still here, discovered, and waiting to be discovered. Their bullets, buckles, buttons, all of it is here. So it's important to remember these people today, on this ridge, with a flag, and a kitty...and a sunset tribute. They died for something, and it's breathtaking.
Always flag-centric, Memorial Day is a great time to capture dreamy American Flag pictures. I usually aim for sunset and the 30 minutes prior any time I am taking pictures. This is known as the Golden Hour in photography. When you position your subject in front of the sunset, this is when magic happens. Because most American flags are made of light weight material such as cotton or vinyl, it allows light to penetrate the fabric. When you position it in front of the sunset, you are able to catch the dreamy light and highlight the flag in an otherwise dark image.
Quick Tips For American Flag Photography
• Get inspired and plan your images ahead of time. Because the window of light is so small, being prepared is half the battle.
• Shoot at 30 minutes to 1 hour before sunset.
• Use a camera body that allows you to use a high ISO* like this one.
• Position your subject in front of the sunset, making sure the details are catching the light.
• Shoot from a low perspective. Get closer to the ground.
• Under expose one image so that you get a great picture of the sky and the clouds. This way you have an image to use as a composite in post processing. My image is not an example of this, I didn't follow my own advice on this one and now I'm kicking myself. Being able to include the clouds that are already present, in the background, adds an extra aspect of visual interest.
• Have your subject wave the flag around while you are taking pictures. The motion adds interest, choose the one that catches the light perfectly.
*ISO: this is the sensitivity of your image sensor. The more sensitive the image sensor, the more fast images you can capture in lower light. A more sensitive image sensor is nearly essential for Golden Hour photography with children. Also, flags generally wave around in the breeze, you will need to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the image, or your flag will be blurry.
My top picks for Photography equipment
What I used for this shoot...
The Fourth of July is quickly approaching, and that is another great opportunity for American Flag photography! Do you have any questions about photography? I would love to help! Connect with me in the comments below!