(BPT) - One of the things visitors love to do in Ely and the BWCAW is capture the stunning beauty around them in photos. But getting that perfect shot in the forest can be tricky — and here in Ely, we’re all about the forest. So how do you get that perfect shot? It’s about timing, patience and light.
Use the moon and stars. Don’t confine your shooting to the daylight hours. The full moon and a sky filled with stars will illuminate the night as brightly as day in any season, but it’s especially true when there’s still snow on the ground. Get out there when the moon rises and take some stunning shots of the pines against the night sky. You might even capture the Northern Lights while you’re at it.
High noon? In open spaces, photographers tend to put their cameras away and avoid midday shooting because the light can be too harsh, the contrasts too extreme and the shadows too great. But in the dense forest, noon lighting can be your friend, peeking down through the pines.
Cloudy days? Clouds will soften the harsh glare of midday sun, allowing you to capture contrasts and textures you wouldn’t be able to find with the light beating down.
The “golden hour.” Professional photographers love this time of day — late afternoon, before dusk — when the low angle of the sun bathes the world in a beautiful, gentle glow that radiates warmth. This is the perfect time to shoot anything, from sweeping vistas to flowers poking their way out of the snow. Hint: That selfie of you in the Northwoods will look great at this time, too.
Animals? Professional nature photographers will tell you that any good animal shot is about patience and a little bit of luck, and this is especially true if you’re interested in photographing the wildlife that is teeming here in the north country. Find a comfortable spot — an Adirondack chair outside the lodge where you’re staying, the dock as mist is rising off of the lake, or a canoe — and be still. Chances are, a loon will surface at just the right time, a deer will wander into view in search of something to nibble, or you might get lucky and spy a wolf.
Whether you’re a pro coming with a tripod and expensive photo gear or a visitor armed with an iPhone, you can get spectacular shots of the magnificent landscapes in Ely to take home with you and admire for years to come.