In the Nick of Time

W. Dean Furr sent me a great tip a few days ago that I wanted to pass along. For a short period in early spring, the operating hours at many sites allow you to do night photography when you ordinarily could not. The key is catching it right after they switch to later hours, but before Daylight Savings Time kicks in.

Dean used the example of North Carolina’s state parks, which remain open later beginning March 1, but DST doesn’t begin until March 10. I’ve taken advantage of this situation many times, but it didn’t occur to me share this very useful information with you until Dean sent his email. Thanks Dean!

View from Campanile at St mark's Square in Venice

Evening thunderstorm viewed from the Campanile on St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy. Nikon D700, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, f/22, 30 seconds, ISO 100.

BTW, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the cycle of operating hours and sunset times throughout the year. In the summer season, sites stay open later and beginning in late June, the sunset gets earlier each night. So, for example, in mid-August, sites that stay open until 9pm give you 45 minutes AFTER the sun has set.

I took advantage of this on an August trip to Venice a few years ago. The Campanile in St. Mark’s Square is open until 9pm in July and August. I arrived at the tower around 7:30pm, 45 minutes before sunset, and remained there until after 9pm while a thunderstorm occurred in the distance. With some sites, once you get in, you can remain a little longer after closing, as was this case on this evening. I suspect this has more to do with how soon the attendee wants to go home than it does with operating policy.

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