Sunday, 4 September 2011

Part 4 Light–Project:The Time of Day

Exercise: Light through the day
Objective: The purpose of this exercise is to record the changes in the light on a sunny day from dawn until dusk.
Monday 29th August
I started before the sun rose at 0610 and have included several images taken as the sun rose, before the series of landscape photographs, at least one of which I will include in the “Variety with low sun” exercise.
Along with the exposure details I have noted the time (BST).

Panorama looking NE 4 Frames: 7419-22: 1/8s f5.3 105mm ISO200 (tripod) 0600 am
Panorama 1

Around Dawn:
7416: 1/60s f5.3  95mm ISO200 (tripod) 0559 am

7426: 1/10s f8 ISO200 (tripod) 65mm 0604 am

7427: 1/4s f 9.5 ISO200 95mm (tripod) 0605 am

7443: 1/250s f5.6 ISO200 200mm 0631 am

7445: 1/180s f9.5 ISO200 150mm 0708 am

Light through the day – Dawn to Midday: All photos: ISO200  White Balance: Direct sunlight
Monday 29th August 2011
At the time of writing this, I have completed half of this exercise, from dawn until midday. I chose a landscape that I have used before, looking NW from Harting Down over the village of South Harting. I know that the valley floor is wide enough to get the sun for an extended period over the day. This summer has been very short on prolonged sunny periods but for six hours, there were enough sunny spells to allow me to take at least one frame an hour and a stiff (and very chilly) NW wind kept the clouds moving. For the first half of the day at least, I have achieved my objective. The camera’s white balance setting was set to daylight. I mounted the camera on a tripod and although I took several shots of the rising sun to the east, I was able to return the camera to the tripod and maintain the same frame position throughout the morning.
7429: 1/3s f8 65mm 0607 am (Sunrise 0610 am)

7449:1/60s f8 70mm 0712 am

7456: 1/250s f8 70mm 0800 am

7458: 1/500s f8 70mm 0902 am

7460: 1/500 f8 70mm 1000 am

7465: 1/250s f8 70mm 1127 am

7469: 1/350s f9.5 70mm 1151 am

The changing colour and quality of  the light is clearly shown in the seven images above. The shortening of the shadows as the sun moves higher is also noticeable from the trees in the lower part of  the  picture. There were some clouds moving across the sky which led to me being unable to take pictures at very regular  intervals. These were all I could take on this occasion and I plan to return later in the week to complete the exercise.
Light through the day –  Midday to Dusk: All photos: ISO200 White Balance: Direct sunlight
Friday 2nd September 2011
The weather today was a change from Monday. There was a lot of thin high cloud and haze in the valley which effected the contrast of the images. I think I have corrected this consistently, increasing the contrast enough to bring it within the threshold of the histogram. I made images from early afternoon until the sun was no longer in the main part of the image. My camera position also changed due to circumstances beyond my control so the focal length has varied a little, not only because of this but I was taking the camera from the tripod occasionally to make images for other exercises and found it difficult to reset it in exactly the same position .
4781: 1/500s f8 62mm   2.13 pm

7483: 1/500s f8 62mm 3.19 pm

7486: 1/500 f8 62mm 4.17 pm

7489: 1/500s f8 60mm 5.16 pm

7492: 1/500s f8 60mm 6.16 pm

7500: 1/350s f6.7 60mm  6.46 pm

7506: 1/180s f5.6 60mm  7.04 pm

7507: 1/90s f5.6 62mm 7.15 pm

It is unfortunate that round about 5.30 there was a build up of cloud to the west which has weakened the sunlight. It is also noticeable that the haze has scattered the light more as the sun has got lower in the sky. The light changed very rapidly in the final hour of the exercise. The sunset was at 7.47 pm
showing the effect of the hill to the west in blocking the sun. Even in the haze, I can detect a distinct yellow tint to the light from 5.00 pm. The images I thought the best were those made at around 10.00 am and 3.00pm. The angle of the sun has produced enough modelling to the trees without too many long harsh shadows and the light is just warm enough to evoke a late summer’s day.
Conclusion: Although I am totally familiar with  these aspects of the effects sunlight on the landscape, this is the first time that it has been reinforced in such a dramatic and detailed manner. I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise, not only because I was making photographs but because I was able to spend 13 hours sitting quietly overlooking an area I have known and become familiar with over a period of 50 years.
During the afternoon part of this exercise I was also able to record some images for the  “Variety with low sun” exercise.

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