When I was a kid in Sister Tonis 4th grade class, she gave us a handy way to remember Daylight Savings Time.
Spring forward; turn the clock ahead lose an hour. Fall back, turn the clock back gain an hour.
For years this little saying has helped me remember which way to turn the clock at 2 a.m. But what does it really mean for Photographers? For starters, make sure your camera has daylight savings enabled and check to make sure it automatically adjusted the cameras time. If not. change it manually.
Set Your Cameras Clock
Your cameras internal clock is used to time-stamp your images. This is helpful when sorting on capture time in Lightroom. This is critical when dealing with multiple cameras. A synced time-stamp metadata allows for a much quicker post-production workflow between the multiple cameras.
Corporate Workshop: I never thought it was that important until I photographed a four-day corporate workshop with another photographer. The art director wanted to group the images based on the time of each class. This made it easy to quickly find all images from a particular class and instructor. The first day was a nightmare. The images timestamp didn’t match with the second shooter. Not only did I have the wrong time, but I was also in a different timezone. A quick change to my cameras time and timezone made the art director happy the following day.
Sunrise and Nautical Twilight
I’m fortunate to live on the east coast of Florida. I can jump in the car and be at the ocean in less than 10 minutes. This is great just before fall when the Sun rises at 7:33 a.m. or 6:41 a.m. if I want to capture Nautical Twilight. Not bad. But when the first day of the fall time change comes along, the Sun rises at 6:34 a.m. and the Nautical Twilight time changes to 5:42 a.m.. I would have to leave at 5:20 a.m. at the latest to get there by 5:30 a.m.. Not as fun!
The time change also affects when the Sun sets. Just before fall, the Golden hour starts around 6:07 p.m.. Giving me plenty of time to photograph a beautiful portrait before the sun sets at 6:36 p.m.. On the first day of the Fall time change, the Golden hour now starts at 5:06 p.m.and the sun sets at 5:38 p.m. causing me to fight traffic.
Rethink What You Plan to Photograph
This may sound like I’m complaining, but honestly, I’m not. The change in time means I have to rethink what I plan on photographing. I find during the Fall season, I shoot later in the day than I do for Springtime. Springtime lends to more sunrise shoots and morning portraits.
Either way, planning ahead of time will keep you from chasing the light!