26/09/2006

Colour Your Day



As the sun changes its position throughout the day, so too does the quality of light we have at our disposal and the quality of our images is determined by what time of day we decide to go out and take photos.

It's not only the light itself that we should be concerned about, but with examination and study of its brightness, direction and colour we will no doubt learn how it affects the mood and demeanour of our images.
Light is a vitally important commodity, for without it photography would not exist. So we need also to take heed and understand how it affects our subjects.
With a keen understanding of the attributes of light and how best to manipulate its qualities, you will certainly achieve better results.
To acquire the best of morning light, a good photographer will arrive on the scene well before the first rays of sunlight begin to alter the colour and shape of the landscape.
Even better, he might have checked out the scene the day before the planned shoot, so he can be fully prepared to meet all expectations.
The more experience you gain working with available light, the better your images will become. And once you acquire that knowledge, you will easily be able to rate a subject's potential under certain light conditions.
Practice makes perfect and paying strict attention to the way our equipment, such as different lenses, film, altering viewpoints and angles, can only help us become better photographers.
Why do landscape photographers all agree, the choicest time of day is early morning? Simply, because it is! The air is cleaner, clearer and all the pollution from the previous day has settled overnight and it is even better if there has been a bit of rain falling during the night, as this will make the air even cleaner.
The light is more directional in the early morning or late afternoon and there is more colour in the light.
A few short hours after sunlight, the quality of light begins to change and towards midday it becomes whiter and loses its colour and as pollution rises, the air becomes thick and hazy and this is definitely not a good time to be taking landscapes or seascapes. As the afternoon progresses, colour starts to come back into the light again and although the air is dusty, smoky and polluted, you can get some dreamy and moody photography, not to mention some great coloured sunsets.
For about an hour after sunset, and just prior to the first rays of sunrise, the light is blue, creating a cool colour-cast across the landscape and then, as the sun rises, its light and colour engulf all in its path, enhancing and exaggerating form and texture and bathing everything in colours of yellow, gold, or red.
That is why the pros prefer this time of day and you will do well to heed the call.