Good subject matter + film choice for 'middle of day' photography

Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by Athiril, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    As title, middle of day plus or minus a few hours. Not overcast.


    What do APUGgers consider a good subject matter and film and film type for such conditions? And why?

    Just looking for some day time inspiration here.


    Got a drawer full of all sorts of 120 I need to power through (no IR though :sad:)
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well on Tuesday I was out shooting at Ephesus (ancient Greek/Roman city)with another APUG member in the bright summer sunlight here in Turkey. He said he normally avoided that time of day, I showed him that contrary to what books say the shadows aren't harsh, the light isn't harsh & contrasty, there's so much light that the sky acts like a giant fill in diffuser.

    The evening before shooting as the bright sun dropped the exposure remained the same even when the sun dropped behind a mountain.

    It might surprise you that I was shooting HP5 at midday, but then working hand-held with a 5x4 camera I needed a high speed and small aperture. With my TLR or the camera on a tripod I use Delta 100.

    Subject matter is always project related in my case. I think it makes sense to photograph something your interested in anyway.

    Ian
     
  3. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    What surprises me is that you used B&W film at Ephesus. :wink:
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's only up the road, I have been known to walk there, tkaes about 2½ hours :D

    Not in this weather though 39°C is a bit too hot :smile: All the weeds I photographed in March are long dead . . . . . . . .

    [​IMG]


    I have shot colour there as well but it's for a publication and an off topic media :rolleyes:

    Ian
     
  5. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Scorging heat, and what it does to our world... Also a subject best captured in colour? :wink:

    But certainly a subject that can be tackled at noon on a sunny day.
     
  6. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    making pyro negatives and then using Lodima or any of the alternate processes make shooting in mid-day easy
    Best, Peter
     
  7. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Middle of the day subject matter for me tends to be stuff I can't re-visit in the evening or early morning. So, places I'm visiting for only a few hours or family and friends that I've met up with, that sort of thing. I use the same films regardless of the time of day.
     
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I have no magic bullets for midday photography. If I come across a subject that appeals to me visually, I take my camera (the usual) loaded with film (the usual) and see if I can make it happen. If I can't (as is seldom the case) I let it pass. What, it's just photography, right?
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I love infrared at midday, it's a time when I usually set conventional films aside because IR works so well for me then. My current favourite is Rollei Superpan, which I use with an orange filter, a red filter, with a #87... or no filter at all. I have taken quite a few IR shots within a couple hours of high noon which I thought were quite successful. One particular effect that interests me is under trees at high noon with IR film. The little shafts of light suggest moonlight to me.

    Another thing you may find interesting is ultraviolet photography; for that I use a 403 filter, if I remember correctly. Many b&w films have sensitivity down to 400 nm and below; I particularly enjoyed using type 55 (or 665) because I could check my exposures on the spot, but there are plenty of other films which will work well and with a small filter factor. Although skin tones tend to look leathery at those wavelengths (reminiscent of collodion), there is an interesting UV fill effect whereby strong shadows under trees are considerably lighter, and humidity can provide a sort of dreamy, foggy effect.

    Another good genre for midday is pinhole, you typically want that extra contrast and light.

    I also do a fair amount of outdoor macro (fungus, bugs, you name it) at noon, when the light is strong enough to provide fill under the tree canopy. RE: sunrise and sunset, that genre is way overworked in my opinion. Go bravely photographing at noon and you might well find some new things right under your feet.
     
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  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    What extra contrast ? My experience if just the opposite, no special processing is needed either.

    One reason always given for shooting earlier/later in the day is the light/shadows are less interesting at midday. Often the highest contrast is ealy or late sunlight where the shadows are deeper.

    Ian
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Ian, you don't think there is extra contrast at midday? At least around here, noon light is typically very hard and direct, with little sideways scatter, so the shadows are very deep e.g. around trees or buildings. For pinhole I like the hard contrasty edges (and I am well aware that some do not like that). Having an extra stop or two of light is nice too, when the effective aperture is f/250 or so...

    ~~~

    Anyway, what makes light interesting in general? It is up to the photographer to find the interest. We are supposed to see things that others do not, that's what makes us photographers. And I think I have found a fair bit of interest in hard, noon light. There is a lot of sunrise/sunset stuff out there; I think the O.P. is to be commended for seeking ways to work with light that many would reject outright, simply because they cannot think creatively or they want to take a 'pretty' photograph that everyone has seen before.

    People simply have to try and see what works for them.
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    First - I use the same film mid-day, morning, evening, and night. It matters more how you use it than what you use.
    During mid-day my negs turn out with too much contrast if I expose normally. So I overexpose the film, as in any high contrast situation, and use gentle agitation and shorter development times to get perfect negatives. If I don't do this I lose some shadow detail and end up having to compensate in printing by using softer filtration, something I don't like to do.

    I am in Keith's camp - shooting pinhole mid-day works very well. I particularly like to point the camera directly into the sun.

    - Thomas
     
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  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    From recent experiences no, I made a point of checking with my spotmeter because I was quite surprised at first. In theory the closer to the equator the harsher the shadows at midday, but other factors seem to come into play.

    These are "open" shadows which aren't deep because "there's so much light that the sky acts like a giant fill in diffuser". I guess a lot depends on what & where you are photographing, wide open places are no problem.

    I do use N-2 development, but have never needed to yet here in the midday sun in Turkey :D

    Ian
     
  14. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Roman? Greek? It looks English! :wink:
     
  15. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I live in Australia, I did a little experimen with my d*l SLR and a long lens with spot metering. I found at mid day, the highest contrast range I could find was 6 stops, between the sky, and an open faced parking garage under a high a rise building (which was the deepest shadow I could find at the time).
     
  16. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    1. Subjects that you want to render in the light that will be present, in order to best express your concept.
    2. A film, exposure, and development combination that you know how to manipulate well to serve the needs of your desires coupled with the enlarging paper you will use to print the pix.

    Then again, that's a pretty good formula to follow every photo, assuming you have the "luxuries" of forethought and preparation.
     
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  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well most of the sky here in Turkey is a deep blue, Zone V :D The contrast is very much higher now in the sunlight at 7:55 am, the shadows are deeper. I'd measure it but my Spotmeter disappeared off to the South :smile:

    2F/2F's right if you have your film speed and developer combination right you can cope with many situations just making adjustments for extremes of lighting.

    Where contrast does tend to be an issue is when you photograph in areas of deep shadow, sheltered from the fill in effects of the sky, but with patches of sunlight. But out in the open landscape contrast in bright sunlight's rarely an issue whether it's midday or dawn to dusk.

    This is midday sun in the UK at the end of April, before Stoo, Mark & I adjourned for a bit of lunch & a pint. :D

    [​IMG]

    Mark Burley & I had been discussing where to place the shadow details, he'd have given a stop more exposure, but I assured him that it wasn't necessary

    Ian
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I really enjoy the characteristics of Tri-X so I usually shoot that all the time no matter what the light. It looks great through most if not all of the situations I have been into with it...You could try Plus-X if you are looking to go slower...
     
  19. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I've got GP3 which I love, a brick of Pan F+, FP4+ (love it), Tri-X, and T-Max 400 atm, and even more on the colour side.

    Did some playing around today around mid day, with a polariser and fresh Ektacolor Pro 160.
     
  20. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I guess you have a lot of humidity and hence atmospheric scatter and lots of fill.... ?

    I do need to visit Turkey, it seems a wonderful place for landscape and architecture and general ethnography.