Before and after dawn - mood swings

November 18, 2015

Together with all the primary technical stuff - the exposure, the focus, the field and point of view, the balance, the composition, the textural and tonal relationships and so on, the successful conveyance of mood or emotion, in other words - the way it makes the viewer feel and think, is vital in a photo.

Above image: Littlehampton's East Pier, shot from West Beach

Nikon D810, 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor at 24mm, ISO 64, 4 seconds at f13, tripod

17th November 2015

 

I wrote in my previous post about the blue hour, so this time I thought it would be useful to look at the bit that comes after it (or before it if you're shooting in the evening) the golden hour - the moment that most photographers generally think of as the best time for landscape photography. For the purposes of this post though I wanted to offer up a pair of photos for comparison so that the golden hour could be put into perspective with the at least equally absorbing blue hour.

 

As the blog title suggests, I shot these examples before and after dawn. They were taken on the same beach on the same day, less than an hour apart. The resultant images demonstrate the entirely divergent moods we can create by shooting the same location at different times and in changing light. There is a suggestion of frigidity, stillness and isolation in the blue hour image that contrasts with the movement, expectation and drama flowing in the warmer colours of the sunrise image.

 

Above image: Littlehampton's East Pier, shot from West Beach

Nikon D810, 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor at 14mm, ISO 64, 1/40 second at f13, tripod

17th November 2015

 

Arriving early and staying put on location while the light dwindles or intensifies is always a worthwhile exercise. Don't be tempted to give up and go home because the weather is a bit meh or the light levels are poor or not your ideal choice. Work the scene. Look for shapes, tones and textures. Go wide, get close up, isolate details, try a long exposure, convert to black and white. Of course some weather and lighting conditions are more difficult to compose and create in than others, but do try to learn to accept all light as a photographic opportunity waiting to be exploited.

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