Category Archives: c – The time of day (natural light)

Cloudy weather and rain

For the sunlight/cloud comparison I used a view from a church across to the Hadlow tower folly -a local landmark.  Both were shot using the white balance setting.

Direct sunlight:-


1/1600 at F7.1 ISO 800 Daylight white balance setting

Cloud cover:-


1/1250 at F10 ISO 800


Direct (low) sunlight, white balance set at daylight. 1/160 at F9 ISO 400


Roughly the same angle and time of day but foggy and overcast. 1/125 at F9 ISO 400


In the tower shots there is an identifiable bluer cast to the cloud cover.  What is interesting in the second couple of shots is that there is not the degree of difference in exposure that I would have expected, only about a third of a stop.

You are asked as part of the exercise to identify some previous photographs taken on a cloudy day that would not have been enhanced by being taken in direct sunlight.  I think these four all would be less dramatic images without the clouds filling what would otherwise be a blank space:-


DSC08762_3_4 DSC00751_2_3



For the specific subject on a cloudy overcast day I chose a fungus (not sure of its name) growing the small wooded area down the road.  I thought it filled the brief of having pronounced relief and the colour is fairly strong.  For these two overhead shots I used Daylight and shade settings to see how they compared  The daylight setting actually washes out some of the colour of the fungus whereas the shade setting gives, as one would hope, a better colour rendition.



Daylight white balance setting. F22 at 1 sec ISO100



Shade white balance setting. F22 at 1 sec ISO100



Shade white balance setting. F22 at 1.6 sec ISO100


Daylight white balance setting. F5.6 at 1/40 sec ISO200 note the slightly muted colour of the fungus

The exercise also asks for some rain shots:-

Truth be told I rarely go out in the rain – not because of lack of photo opportunities but concerns about my gear.  I like the difference that raindrops can apply to images – brightening them up with their individual catch lights.

DSC03720-3 DSC02308-2-2 DSC03701-2

I find fog and mist atmospheric and early morning mist is always worth getting up early for:-


Foggy morning the mist isolates the garden and creates a slightly mysterious shot.




Variety with a low sun

This exercise requires an early morning or late afternoon shoot to show the lighting effects of a low sun.  It asks for shots illustrating four different types of lighting:- frontal, side, back and edge lighting.

It also asks you if possible to do all the shots on the same occasion.  The location I chose was one I had been to earlier ( ) and at that time, I thought it would make a good subject for one or more of the exercises in the Light section of the course.  It is a relatively small, heavily wooded, Victorian cemetery mainly on a south east facing slope so is ideal for morning light but would not I suspect work as well in the dusk.

Here is a selection of the shots



Edge light


Frontal lighting


Back Lighting


Edge lighting



Edge lighting


Frontal lighting


Side lighting


Side/edge lighting


Side lighting


Side lighting


Back lighting


Back lighting


Front lighting



Side Lighting




Light through the day

This is an exercise in looking at the effect of sunlight on a subject throughout the day.  I’ve more or less decided on an old favourite of mine – a barn at Detling.  It fulfils the criteria in that it is a lone building on the horizon:-


The barn at Detling

I have used the The Photographer’s Ephemeris to see what the angle of the sun is going to be on the day in question.  This is a wonderful tool for checking angles and times of sunrises and sunsets.


The barn in question, accessed down a country track.



All you need to do is drop the pin on your chosen location and the program will show you the relevant angles and times.

To check the weather I used the BBC website:-

Detling Weather

I set my main camera at an angle to the barn and took a shot at a constant F11 at roughly hour intervals after the initial couple of set up shots.  There was an unforecasted mist on the morning in question but this quickly cleared with the sun coming out in full about an hour later


1) 6.18 am


2) 6.22 am



3) 7.22 am



4) 8.23 am




5) 9.10 am



6) 10.10 am



7) 11.10 am



8) 12.11 pm



9) 1.11 pm



10) 2.08 pm



11) 3.16 pm



12) 4.11 pm



13) 5.10 pm


16) 6.12 pm


17) 7.10pm






18) 7.32 pm

In addition I also set up another camera facing a different angle taking shots at intervals of ninety seconds and made a timelapse of the resultant five hundred and thirty six shots which does really show the light changes:-

The barn2

Of the series of shots above  I am torn between two shot at opposite ends of the day number six taken at 8.23 am and number 26 taken at 7.10 pm:-


I like the light on the left hand side of the building and the small shadow (at least from this angle) behind and to the right)  as it happens the mist/cloud provides a useful contrasting backdrop making in my view the barn stand out more.


I like the subdued colour in this and although there is a bit of lens flare(which is cloneable) and burnt highlights (which may be retrievable) I think this a good shot of the barn and the cloud formation behind adds to it.

I played around with this last image as it was after consideration my favourite and this is the edited result:-DSC02204-2

The problem with using a fixed vantage point is that you will at some stage of the day get lens flare or shadows in some of the shots so positioning is key and normally I would be moving the camera round to get the best vantage point with the light at that time.  However the exercise does I hope, give an indication of the effect of the changing light.

I am a fan of early morning and late evening light as is evidenced by my choices, but in this case I think the stark midday or high light also suits the monolithic and isolated nature of the subject, and this can be seen in number 20 above where the barn is almost in silhouette,  I have shot some stark black and white shots previously in very strong light.