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  1. #11

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    The technical aspect of handling light/film is part of craft of photography. More important though is the light as the actual subject of the photo - I believe John Sexton, among others, argues this point. The so-called subject of the image is merely the source of the reflected light which we capture on the film. As David suggests above, the same view taken under many different lighting/weather conditions shows the variation of light while the subject remains the same. The light as it interacts with the subject becomes the real subject of the image.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  2. #12
    mobtown_4x5's Avatar
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    I don't know if this has any bearing on the discussion- but every negative I've ever made that I was proud of was made within 1 hour of sunset. Maybe I'm in a light rut?

    Matt

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobtown_4x5
    I don't know if this has any bearing on the discussion- but every negative I've ever made that I was proud of was made within 1 hour of sunset. Maybe I'm in a light rut?

    Matt
    Perhaps, you just love the quality of the light at certain times of day. I know I do and adjust my shooting schedule accordingly.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
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    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    .. I'm usually thinking of the sun as the "key" and either moving myself or the subject so the light is where I want it, or if the subject is immobile like a landscape--waiting for it to get into the right place or for the clouds to work themselves out to the advantage of the scene.
    Something I have not really considered before, but good advice..

    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    My favorite light is just after a rainstorm where there are heavy clouds and clear sky with sun breaking through. Anything looks interesting in this light.
    I really agree with you hear David, there is something magical about the light just before, during and after a storm that when the sun breaks through, the light is quite special..now if I could just have a camrea ready during those times...

    Your comments about going back and working the same location make sense, just had not considered it. Will have to find a spot that I can get to quickly and visit it often with different light..hopefully to learn how the light reacts with what I know (or think I know).
    Mike C

    Rambles

  5. #15

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    David Goldfarb and TPPhotog have it nailed: when that thunderstorm starts to clear, grab your camera and go. Rocks and leaves are still wet, and can take on a wonderful sheen. In mid-day, clouds act like a giant softbox, wrapping light around objects. This won't occur when the sun is at a lower angle.

    The tail end of a foggy morning is great, when the fog is almost gone.

    The magic hours, when it's clear, have never worked that well for me, with long shadows trailing off of everything.

    I did an art show this weekend. Virtually everything that sold was shot in soft light. Lower contrast ruled the day. The prints still have strong blacks and whites, but the tonal transitions are smooth.
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  6. #16

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    I agree that post storm or rain light (the heavenly light) is spectacular. But every light has its opportunities. Being prepared with the right gear and film you can set out at any time under any conditions and create images. Limiting yourself to certain times of day or styles of light excludes 95% of what is available. Some of my favorite landscapes and almost all my figurative work is shot under midday light. Just an awareness of light and alowwing it to show you what is within range is all that is neccesary to discover compositons. Images are available under all conditions at all times of day. By going out and veiwing (and shooting) the same location 100's of times gives you a subconcious referance for any new area you decide to explore and to respond to its variations. So I'm suggesting don't limit yourselves to specifics. Use a specific location to experiment with, every variable then draw from that experiance for creativity in other places.

  7. #17

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    But every light has its opportunities.
    Thomas,

    You may be right, and you may just be a better photographer than I am. However, I can't point to a single print of mine that was shot in midday sun that I like to look at. It's always "chalk and soot."

    What say the rest of you? Are you able to shoot in midday sun and get something you like?

    Doug
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Bennett
    What say the rest of you? Are you able to shoot in midday sun and get something you like?

    Doug
    Nearly 70% of all my outdoor photos were taken between 1 pm and 4pm. It is really not that time of day that is important to me more the way the light falls - sometimes diffused is best for the subject at hand and sometimes direct, harsh sunlight works better. A great scene can be rendered lifeless by the wrong "fall" of light.
    Francesco

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Bennett
    Thomas,

    I can't point to a single print of mine that was shot in midday sun that I like to look at. It's always "chalk and soot."

    What say the rest of you? Are you able to shoot in midday sun and get something you like?
    Doug

    Although midday is not perfect there are always opportunities. I recently spent a long weekend away (4 days) where the weather was %^$£ing awful. Galeforce winds and horizontal rain for 3 days. As usual the sun came out an hour before time to leave. Midday sun, very sharp and glaring but I managed to run of a film on the local beach and have posted 3 images in my personal gallery entitled 'Mad Dogs and Englishman 1 and 2 & Steps2, and although they are not everyones cup of tea I was still able to get semi -decent images by changing subject matter and /or accentuating the harshness and sharpness

    Phill
    Last edited by philldresser; 09-20-2004 at 03:45 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Overexaggeration
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Bennett
    What say the rest of you? Are you able to shoot in midday sun and get something you like?
    Yes, I can. During the time I spent in Xique-Xique (Northeast Brazil), for example, I would wake up, eat breakfast, suit up and go shooting. I would then eat lunch (2 p.m.ish), get some more film, and go out shooting again. I would only stop at about 6-7 pm. In the town of Miguel Calmon, the same was true, and I would only stop at sunset (or I'd get a tripod ).

    I try not to be limited by what time of day it is. There is not such thing as good light and bad light, in my opinion. Light changes, and the pictures I take change with it. I rarely go out with a fixed idea in mind; I usually shoot as I go, if that makes any sense. Sure, it takes some 10 pictures or so to "warm up," but the end result is that I look for the pictures that are around me at the time, not for pictures that would be if the light was different.

    When I photograph, my mind is set on composition. Lighting is a part of composition, along with geometry, that sort of thing. It has to be taken in consideration, but I cannot limit myself because the light is not what I want.

    That is not to say that every shot I take is good, or that every day is a good day to shoot, but this mind-set works for me.

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