Monday, 8 July 2013

The Golden Hour - Low angle incident lighting - Assignment 2 (Part 2 of 5)

I was aware of the blue hour being desirable for night photography but until commencing upon actively looking for low angle incident light I hadn't really considered the hour before the Sun set. This 'golden hour' occurred anytime the Sun was clear of clouds and was obviously close to the horizon. I found it offered a good opportunity to create rich, warm photographs, because of the quality of light.

Photograph 4, Assignment 2

Photograph 5, Assignment 2

If there was one thing I discovered I didn't like about the 'golden hour' though, it was the necessity to work relatively fast and adaptably while taking the photographs as the light and the shadows it created didn't last long or stay consistent. However, I felt this was a worthy trade-off simply because of the light. Also it was a good challenge in terms of how I approached getting these straight-out-of-camera jpeg images.

Photgraph 6, Assignment 2
   As mentioned in the previous paragraph, I was aware of how seemingly quickly the light changed and how it reflected on the chosen settings. I attempted to capture the 'magic' found in my chosen scenes (which all included trees in the landscape) (Photographs 4, 5 and 6) how I saw it rather than letting my camera control the outcome of the photographs for me. To do this I set the camera on a tripod and used its live view on the LCD screen. This did mean it took longer for me to find the composition I felt worked best (as opposed to shooting handheld). It also meant however, I could quickly alter the brightness, white balance, aperture and focus of exposures (if required). The setting I found myself adjusting most was the brightness. I changed the brightness using the dedicated exposure compensation button on my camera; then turned the control dial until I reached the desired brightness on the LCD screen. I was looking for a setting that showed a little shadow detail, while simultaneously keeping the highlights not too blown out. The reason for wanting this kind of exposure setting was firstly to meet the assignment criteria of high contrast and also secondly to retain the magical feeling amongst the trees.

   I tried to further encapsulate of the 'magic' of the setting I had chosen for the third image (Photograph 6 for the assignment). Here, I used a person to add further interest to the setting where the person was 'catching' the last of the Sun. I placed the person and the Sun quite deliberately around the middle of the frame with all of the trees on either side framing them. This made for what I felt was both an aesthetically pleasing and suggestive photograph.