Differences in daylight around the world.

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by leeturner, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    A strange topic title but I couldn't think of a succinct way of describing it.

    I spent many years in Southern Africa and my main system was based around 35mm format. I typically used 100/200 ASA film in both colour and b&w and this covered most situations from candid to motorsport photography.

    Three years ago I moved back to the UK. Until this weekend I have been taking photographs with tripod mounted medium format gear. I decided to get another 35mm SLR due to my slow reacting eyes and much faster young children.

    Anyway, yesterday I went out with the kids, camera and some HP5+. It was a sunny winters day but the difference in exposure, with similiar visible conditions, between the Southern hemisphere and the UK was quite startling. It's really the first time I've noticed it because it's the first time in the UK that I've been handholding a camera. Is it just me or is the sunny16 different in Northern Europe, and does one generally use a faster film when handholding a camera?
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I believe in Sunny 11, not 16. But then I'm even further north than you are...

    I have experienced that Sunny 16 can work too, but not in Norway. There's a difference between 60 degrees latitude and 10 degrees, where I found to my surprise that 16 was correct.
     
  3. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    It's December so the sun barely reaches 15 degrees above the horizon at mid-day in London... Even in mid summer, it's at around 60 degrees maximum as opposed to 85 degrees in Johannesburg. I agree with Ole: sunny 11 in winter on the odd halcyon day that it manages to shine :wink: is a better bet...

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  4. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Lee

    I lived in South Africa for 20 years and definitely noticed a difference in light quality and intensity after returning to the UK. I have never used the sunny 16 rule in anger but definitely had to use faster films when handholding. Not sure if this is right but in winter I put this down to the height of the sun being lower, which means it gets more dispersered along its longer journey through the atmosphere.

    It is interesting as my wife also noticed this and she does not have a photographic bone in her body


    Looks like Bobs post backs up my theory!!!


    Phill
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Sunny 16 requires knowing the light. What most people call sunning is usually hazy which would be F/11.

    Plus the rule is only between 10am and 2pm.

    You need to read your shadows. The rule goes from F/5.6 to F/22
     
  6. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    Hey Phill, I also lived in S.A. (Durban and Joburg) for 20 years, is it a time limit!

    I must admit that, even having been born and raised in the UK, I was surprised by the significant difference in exposure. A couple of times I checked the camera reading against my gossen meter, checked that the film speed was correct etc..
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Old photography books (pre-lightmeter) very often have big tables describing exposure as a function of weather, time of day, time of year, and latitude. At 60° the average absorption by the atmosphere is twice what it is at the equator, simply because the light has to pass through twice as much atmosphere.
     
  8. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    It's "Gloomy 1.4" season round here. And that's outdoors.
     
  9. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    OT a bit, but with the limited amount of quality daylight around at this time of year, what photography related activities do you do. e.g. catch up on prints, start on some still life, portraits? Or just set sail for sunnier climes.

    It very much seems like I'll have to plan my year ahead so that winter will be spent in the darkroom.
     
  10. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    The intensity of light from the sun is constant regardless of where you stand on the globe. "Quality" of light has to do with atmospheric conditions (humidity and natural or man made pollution) and the season. Temperature and color of light also has to do with how the light is filtered by the atmosphere and the amount of humidiity, your altitude, pollution etc.

    So you are correct in considering the angle of the Sun in winter. Couple this with what is probably a much more polluted atmosphere over Britain as compared to South Africa and you easily can lose at least one and probably two stops.

    It would be interesting to know how much the "quality" of light has changed over the years in places like New Mexico considering the haze from western pollution and humidity introduced by heavy irrigation of farm crops and yards.
     
  11. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    There is certainly much more sun here than New Jersey. Usually the only haze problem I have seen is around albuquerque and when there are wildfires.
    A Y2 filter will give you a nice dark sky. In NJ the sky was white no matter what you did.

     
  12. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    Years ago, I shot a photo documentary in Haiti using 35mm Kodachrome 25 and 64. The light there in November was definitely brighter than in Minnesota under full sun. Unmetered quick shots (sunny 16 preset with film rated at a 1/3 stop higher EI for increased saturation) tended toward being slightly less saturated versus metered shots.
     
  13. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I start switching from Delta 100 and FP4+ to HP5+ around the beginning of November. Mind you, living in the sunny south-east, even at this time of year I find I am shooting at up to 1/500 to get the aperture I need with the QL17 GIII and HP5+.
     
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  15. Poco

    Poco Member

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    There's been an amazing 22% dimming of the sun in the past 50 years ...that alone should throw sunny 16 off by half a stop.
     
  16. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Just to be more precise: the sun hasn't dimmed, but it appears that pollutants are causing the clouds to reflect more of the sun's energy back into space. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4171591.stm

    Lee
     
  17. Poco

    Poco Member

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    Oh, I thought it was going out... :surprised:
     
  18. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I think you will also find that the length of time that a sunrise or sunset lasts also depends upon where you are. Twilight lasts much longer in the northern latitudes than it does here in Hawaii.
     
  19. leeturner

    leeturner Subscriber

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    Don't rub it in! It's grim up North at this time of the year.
     
  20. Marv

    Marv Member

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    I calculate time of day and atmospheric conditions into my Zone reading year round.

    This time of year I need to deviate from my key day exposure (f32@1/30, TXP @200, HC-110(b) my modified sunny 16). In eastern Iowa I loose one stop for time of year and one stop before 10:00 am and after 2:00pm. I loose two stops from sunrise to 8:00 am and after 4:00pm until sunset. If everything is snow covered (it is) between 10:00 and 2:00 and the sun is shining (it isn't) you can add one stop back in, roughly, most of the time. Hard to remember, but when your meter battery dies (it did) it can save you some grief.

    But the only people who know about these "secrets" are the ones who actually take pictures and make prints, not just talk about it. Congratulations, you must be one of former.
     
  21. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    It will eventually, but it's 4-5 billion years until the major changes start, and IIRC that step will involve expanding the sun's "surface" out to somewhere near the orbit of Mars. :smile: It will probably also put an end to digital vs. analog debates on the internet and elsewhere. What will the EV in northern climes be then?

    Lee
     
  22. cvik

    cvik Member

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    I like to call it summilux season.. we have it here as well :wink:
     
  23. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Speaking of poor light conditions, are there any lens filters suitable for clouds of oil smoke? :smile:
     
  24. roteague

    roteague Member

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    You could try a Tiffen Enhancing Filter. :tongue: It does strange things with warm colors.
     
  25. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    Sunlight varies by latitide and season.

    In summer, in the Northern Hemisphere, when the sun is 10 degrees above the horizon, the light intensity could be 12,000 Lux. In December in the northern hemisphere, the light intensity when the sun is at 10 degrees above the horizon could be as low as 500 lux. This is over a 5 stop difference.
     
  26. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I was raised right on the Equator and at about 3,000 meters.
    Sunny 16 was more or less true, but sunny 22 was closer to the truth. Going to the beach (altitude =0) gave about 1/2-1 stop difference.
    Now I live in the USA (35 N) and I've found that Sunny 11 is closer.

    Other thing that amazes me is color temperature, In Quito and surroundings we had to use a 1B filter to get the film to render the colors right, otherwise everything lookled awfully bluish.
    For ptints it was no problem, since the lab I used down there had their mahcines calibrated for our conditions, but for slides was a pain! Talk about saturated blues and greens!
    Here the color temperature is different, everything looks less blue.