Warning: photography geek alert.

You have been warned.

Proceed with caution.

So I've been a photography slump of late. I haven't felt very creative, nor have I really had the time to get out and shoot. I've decided to "get back into it". Instead of blindly shooting, I've started to focus on observation and technique. Lately I have been doing a lot of reading on the topic of light: the color of light, the brightness of the light, how light interacts with the camera, etc. Frankly, it's all things I know, but I've never purposefully set out just to experiment with it. This evening I decided to go outside while the sun was setting and just observe the color of the light and how the light played off the trees and fell onto the ground.

Have you ever noticed the midday light? It's very bright, white, and harsh. Try taking a picture of a person outside during the midday. What happens? Since the light is coming from above, it casts dark shadows under a person's eyes. The light feels blinding and using a flash becomes necessary to fill in and blast away the shadows. Since I stink majorly at using a flash, midday light is not for me.

I really need to start experimenting more with flash.

But I'll do that another day.

When I feel like it.

Which could be never.


Anyway, if you wait a few more hours, closer to sunset when the sun is lower in the sky, you'll notice that the light is warmer, creates a nicer atmosphere, is softer, and the dark shadows are virtually eliminated.

So here are some examples of my experiment tonight. I've noted the angle from where the sun's light is coming for you. By the way, the above image was made while the sun was setting with the light coming in at a 45 degree angle.

(50mm - f/1.8 - 1/640 - ISO 250)
The light is coming from a 45 degree angle - can you see it shining through the bluebells' leaves?

(50mm - f/2.8 - 1/250 - ISO 250)
The light is coming from a 45 degree angle again.

(50mm - f/1.4 - 1/1250 - ISO 250)
The light is coming from behind me.

(50mm - f/1.8 - 1/800 - ISO 250)
Here's another one with the light coming from directly behind me.

(50mm - f/1.4 - 1/250 - ISO 400 - +1/3EV)
The sun was almost below the horizon when I took this. I was shooting into the direction of the sun...but it was pretty much gone. Notice how cool the tones are.

OK - so you if you feel so inspired, go outside and practice. Do a "case study". Look at the light and see what happens when you shoot into the sun, when the sun is at your side, when it's behind you. Try it during different times of day too. This was an enlightening exercise for me.


Get it?

Ha ha ha!

C'mon now! I didn't give you a photography geek alert for nothing! Boom!

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Tasha said... @ March 30, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Enlightening? Really, Erin? Strike one, two, and three :)

Just kidding, I actually giggled a bit.

Inge said... @ April 7, 2010 at 12:03 PM

These are all so pretty!

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~ Erin