Exercise 4.3 Initial images

This would have been a much easier exercise to accomplish had I addressed it earlier in the year!  As I have chosen, at least initially, to shoot outdoors, I face the practical problem of having to stay up quite late (at least for me!) for it to become dark enough for artificial light to do its work.  At my elevated Northumbrian latitude, around the time of the summer solstice, it does not get properly dark here until very late, and is already light again by 4 a.m..

The following are the first few images that I feel have worked.  Each was taken in my garden in an attempt to capture something of the light cast by lights within the house and on the outside of the garage.  All were taken using a tripod, because of the long exposures, using a 50mm lens.  For sharpness, and as long exposures were going to be used anyway, I left ISO at 100.  None of the images have been processed in any way.

f/10, 30s

This is a view from the lawn into the kitchen through the garden room (with curtains half drawn).  White balance for this was set to fluorescent which seems to give the most natural effect for the halogen and LED lights in the room.  The light in the middle of the open curtain section is clearly over-exposed and is harsher than it would be in reality, no doubt a function of the long exposure. Nevertheless the over all effect , perhaps as a result of the colours of the wood in the kitchen (American walnut and birch) is quite warm, notwithstanding that the walls and ceiling are white.  I think it is quite a welcoming light.

f/4.5, 30s

This was a chance encounter and not what I was seeking but I have included it because of the quality of the light.  This is a common frog that has taken up residence in a small orchard to the from too the house, and I just by chance happened to notice sitting on the wall by the drive as I moved the camera.  Very obligingly it remained motionless for the duration of the exposure!  Ideally I would have used a zoom lens to focus more on the frog itself but only had the one lens to hand at the time and in any event the real subject here is the light rather than the frog.  The frog merely provided a different way of capturing some of that light.  It is illuminated by a fluorescent light on the outside of the garage (which also illuminated the shots that follow).  What strikes me about the light here is that is quite strong, casting sharp shadows, but is again quite warm.  It also brings out the colours, particularly of the grass, much more strongly, and richly, than I might otherwise have expected,

f/9, 30s

This view is lit by the same light as above but no doubt because of the distance from the subject the light is a lot less strong.  It does though still make the stonework and the leaves of the apple tree almost glow.  I was also struck by the difference in the tone and warmth of the interior lights that can be see in the background, despite the fact both are from similar energy saving fluorescent bulbs and swing through curtains of the same material (though of slightly different shades0.  Possibly it is a result to the remnants of the natural light reflecting on the upper window, giving it a much cooler cast.

f/9, 30s

This last one (for now) was the first one I took and is looking back into the drive from the road.  I was careful to ensure the light source was just out of frame to avoid overwhelming the shot and overexposing the left hand side.  I might reshoot this as I am not sure about having the car in view but it does help to emphasise the strength of the light and the sharp shadows it cast.  It does also help to highlight the cool tone of the ambient light, post sunset, as reflected on the surface of the car. What this also says to me though is that whilst the light is quite strong in the sense it is sharp, it is not so strong in so far as how far it projects.  Beyond the front of the car it is already starting to lose intensity.  This shot also emphasis in a way the other two above do not how directed and channelled the light is by the physical structure of the garden here.

This is the only one of this set that has more than one significant light source.  Getting the white balance though was not difficult.  Fluorescent gives the most natural hue to the stone work, even if perhaps overemphasising the green of the grass, without unduly distorting the natural blue of the sky.  I have played around with other setting to see if there is a more natural colour for the latter but there seems not to be, that does not also make the light from the garage appear unnatural.



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