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Catching the Light, and When You Don’t

Riordan's Garage

I saw a great post yesterday about photography and light over at 1001 Scribbles.  I found it really informative and if you are uncertain of light then it is probably worth your while going over there and taking a look.

Light is one of the hardest concepts to understand in photography.  We all know that you should take photos either first thing in the morning, or late in the evening before, or as, the sun sets.  I wish it was always that simple.  I do try and take majority of my images at those times, but sometimes it isn’t always possible.

The other day when we went to Mildura, I found myself there in the middle of the day.  Not only the worse time for photos, but also on a really hot day where the sun is probably the harshest of any other day.  I was there, the first time in too many years, what was I going to do!  I knew by about 3 in the afternoon we would be gone, so I decided to do some photos anyway.

I showed some that I did the other day in a post called A Town of No Consequence.  The photos were ok and to me when I look at them I see nothing but 40 degrees heat.  I think the one above, which was also taken then, again, not a great photo, but I had an opportunity to take some photos of the dust storm.  Dust storms are put of the heat of the heat up there.

If you look under the front verandah thing you can see that the shadows are short and this was taken at a bad time of the day.  The actual building has no real shadows and I wonder what it would look like if I went back another time and took photos late in the day as the sun was setting.  Especially in the summer on a very hot day where the light is very orange.

This was taken after we got back to Woomelang and it was around 5 or 6 at night.  The shadows were longer and you get more contrast which does make the image a whole lot better.  Still, if I had gone back an hour or two later, it probably would have been even better.

You can see the beginning of the orange glow in this image.  The shadows are very long and getting longer.  The harshness of the sun is still there, but by taking photos of the Church with the shadow side you get a better image.  I suspect this image would be better taken in the morning.

All these images have been taken at the wrong time of the day and I’ve shown you many images this week that are the same.  When I was in Mildura I decided to take photos anyway because even if I never used the images again, I still had a record of what I saw.  It isn’t always perfect, but I do know that I want to go back there and take more images, even do the same ones again.  I have seen what it is there and now I know when I go back, I will know when the right time of the day will be to take photos.  I will leave my children at home and just go with my mum.  We will probably stay a day or two and I will see what else is there and photograph Mildura the photographers way.

So the point of this post is that you shouldn’t always think that if it isn’t the right time of the day then you can’t do anything.  Look for other options.  Experiment, try some compositions and practice.  Perhaps you can plan to go back another day and do it right.

On Another Note.

I have decided to offer some of my images for sale.  Not all of them, just some of the ones that I am really proud of.  I don’t know if anyone is interested in purchasing them, but I have started putting some up on my website Leanne Cole Photography, so if you would like to see some of my images again, check it out.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. One thing I love about being so far north is the light. Even at Midsummer, it’s ‘kind’…so unlike the unrelenting glare of summer in the US South…which is like yours…
    I’d like to know how to capture that ‘hot’ light too, though. You can’t always count on a dust storm, wheather you’re in Mildura, or Oklahoma! ;)

    January 28, 2012
    • It would be nice to have good light, but here it just means you have to wait for it. All our other seasons are nice to shoot in. Winter here can be a great time to take phtoos.
      I think to capture the hot light you would need to incorporate it into your photo, so that it is part of the story. If I was doing a blog post on heat then I would look for images to take at the hottest time of the day. They would probably be more people oriented though.

      January 29, 2012
  2. Thanks for the pingback on my guest post at 1001 Scribbles!

    Great post here!

    Your entry dovetails nicely with a piece I wrote on my own blog a few weeks ago (http://lightscapesphotography.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/luck-and-landscape-photography/) because both discuss the value of planning. The experience based upon the “harsh light” shots you’ve taken in Mildura will be invaluable in terms of making the best of your time when you do get a chance to go back.

    January 29, 2012
    • Thank you, and you are welcome, it was a good post, yours I mean as well.

      I like to think that you shouldn’t waste moments, so you have to decide what to do, planning is a major part of any photographer, you are right. I am excited about the trip back, it should be good. There were many other things I would have liked to photograph as well. I’m busy making a list.

      January 29, 2012
  3. I really like the first photo because you captured the dust. It might not be a stand alone but if you are journaling it’s an amazing inclusion.

    January 29, 2012
    • I really want to capture an image of a farmer on his tractor ploughing a paddock with the dust going every where. I will get that image one day.

      January 29, 2012

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