As of today, it's officially the First Day Of Fall. Pagans get to celebrate this with Mabon, but we architectural photographers have our own observance: the noting that between today and the Spring Equinox, Mother Nature will no longer be providing direct light on north-facing elevations. Bummer.
We really need our own festival to mark this, but there are so few of us and we're so geographically diverse, good luck with that. Maybe someday...
We love fall light (it's lower, more direct, and emphasizes those lovely fall colours), but the lack of direct light can make photographing north-facing exteriors a bit more challenging. Thankfully, there's lighting, and of course, shooting at twilight to get around this problem. So, when a client calls and wants photos of a north-facing exterior, we get to be a bit more creative with timing (because shooting directly into the sun causes all sorts of problems of its own) and lighting to get the job done. Or, some combination of both, as we did when photographing this nifty laneway house from the crew at Lanefab, which was recently also on the Vancouver Modern Art & Design Tour:
The upside of the days getting shorter is that we can shoot twilight exteriors earlier in the day. In Vancouver, midsummer days last so long that we're often photographing well past 10 or 11pm, and packing up at midnight. Being a night owl, I rather relish this (especially because you get good twilight for almost an hour), however, for homeowners--particularly those with kids--this can be tough because it's "way past everyone's bedtime". With twilight happening closer to 6-7pm, this makes things a lot more convenient for everyone, at the cost of...fewer twilight images to be had before losing the light, and a bit more planning on our part to get everything in.
So, if you have a north-facing exterior, and you need natural direct light on it, we're happy to schedule you in after May 1. Otherwise, grab yourself a pumpkin spice latte and enjoy the fall!