Hokkaido – Photo Tip

How getting up early will make you a better photographer

Lake Kussharo in Akan National Park is on the migratory path of the whopper swans (Cygnus cygnus). The lake is the largest in Japan to completely freeze over in winter.

Photo by Lucas Vallecillos

Hokkaido – Photo Tip

How getting up early will make you a better photographer

Hokkaido is a relatively unknown destination to most non-Japanese visitors, but it stole my photographer's heart.

Lucas Vallecillos
Lucas Vallecillos Travel Photographer

Hokkaido is beautiful. And in winter, when snow covers everything and plunging temperatures freeze the Sea of Okhotsk, it is even more photogenic. But of course, a blanket of white can make for very similar pictures unless you pay attention to the light.

Dawn and sunset are the best times to add some golden color to your pictures, even on otherwise cloudy or dull days. At Lake Kussharo, the first rays of sunshine gave the mist of early morning a magenta tone in sharp contrast to the cold light elsewhere. As a bonus for early risers, wildlife is also often at its most active then, and they always help bring an image to life.

In contrast, the city Hakodate is a very urban environment but the same rule applies as the sun sets. Again the cold light of evening is warmed by the street lights and setting sun, giving the image great visual appeal.

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