“When’s the Best Time for Taking Photos?” Answer: ANYTIME.

“When’s the Best Time for Taking Photos?” Answer: ANYTIME.

Words and images by Jerred Zegelis

It was lunch time, and I was stressed.

Normally that means I spend some time outside with my camera, but today presented me with dreary skies, a light drizzle and slightly chilly weather.

I looked out the window and thought: “I’m not going out there.”

But when I looked at my endless to-do list and cringed, I decided that I should practice what I preach and find a way to de-stress by making some art. So I grabbed the Nikon Z5, a full-frame entry-level mirrorless camera and the Nikon 105 f/2.8 Macro, and went out into the less-than-idea weather.

You know what? I need to listen to my own advice more.

Waterbead on a leaf by Jerred Z taken with Nikon Z5 and 105mm f/2.8 macro


Water on a leaf by Jerred Z taken with Nikon Z5 and 105mm f/2.8 macro


The weather wasn’t great, admittedly. Since it was a little windy, I had to pump up my shutter speed to compensate for the flowing grass and flowers. Since that cut some of the light, I also had to bump up the ISO to compensate. But with the Z5’s full frame sensor doing amazing things, the noise in the higher ISO images doesn’t bother me at all.


Pinecone by Jerred Z taken with Nikon Z5 and 105mm f/2.8 macro


In fact, although I normally don’t shoot Nikon, I was shocked to find that the Z5 became an extension of my thoughts far quickly than I thought possible. With a few tweaks to my autofocus (I turned on continuous to see if it could keep up with the swaying flowers and it did a fine job), I was taking photos without thinking about the camera in my hands.


Pinecone with an acorn taken with the Nikon Z5 and 105mm f/2.8 macro

This has a lot to do with the ergonomics. After years of shooting with either a Fuji (a bit too small to always be comfortable), and my old heavy Canon DSLR’s, shooting with the Nikon was an absolute joy. The “AF-ON” (autofocus) button is in the perfect position, and I was creating photos like these effortlessly.

The bonus?

When I went back inside, I felt better about my to-do list, even if I admittedly spent the next 30 minutes ignoring my list in order to edit these photos!

And just to show that you can make cool photos almost anywhere, check out this very unappealing spot next to my house and the photo I created out of the small purple flower that I almost stepped on!


Backyard photo by Jerred ZPurple flower by Jerred Z taken with Nikon Z5 and 105mm f/2.8 macro


About Jerred Zegelis:

Jerred or Mr. Z, as his students fondly know him, has been a photography teacher and photographer for more than 18 years. Jerred's goal for every class is for each student to find their voice through photography.

Jerred's former students include fashion photographers, landscape and art photographers, wedding and portrait photographers. 

For more information about Mr. Z and to see his work, visit his website - https://jerredz.com/about/

To take a class with Jerred Z or one of our other instructors, check out our class calendar!