“It’s all about the light” is the topic for this week’s Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge hosted by Tina. I really have to stress this statement, because it’s a key message regardless of the kind of photography you’re practicing. Photographing a fantastic model or scene at the wrong time or having the wrong light makes the result dull and boring. Even postprocessing can’t change it.
These images are taken at the same location. For each image, I wrote down the date and the time. So, you can compare the different light situations. OK, two of the images are taken in the afternoon and the other three are taken around sunrise. But, even when comparing the images taken at a similar time you can see a huge difference as you can see in the next section.
Here, it’s the same. I love the 2017 image most. In 2019, we had nearly no morning fog and in 2020 it was too much fog. On the other hand, both years had no clouds to offer. Finally, I want to show you my favorite image from those 5 trips to that location.
In this image, we can see the warmth of the golden hour, morning fog, some clouds making the sky interesting, and a star in the tree created by the aperture blades from the light of the sun behind the tree.
I’m looking forward to the upcoming weather conditions to see if it’s worth another trip. It’s a one-hour drive to get there (not counting the walk over sandy ground) and sunrise is at around 6:30-7:00. So, I’d have to get up at 5 a.m to be on location on time.
Unfortunately, the weather is unpredictable bad this year. Gray skies covered with lots of could and much rain. Instead of summer, we got already 3 months of fall up to now this year. Since mid of May, we only got 5 days’ worth of the label “summer”. (I’m reminding you of the days of hard rain and flooding in mid-July) So, we’re hoping for a golden fall now.
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In March 2010 I was in Frankfurt again. Again, I was there for a training and again I brought my tripod and my camera for taking some night shots in the city. But, this time I went along the river instead of heading between the skyscrapers.
I’m presenting the images here although they are not so good to visualize certain mistakes I did at that time.
The time of the day was right and the horizon is balanced. But, the verticals near the sides are not vertical. They are leaning to the center of the image. That’s because of the wide-angle lens. The images are taken with a camera having an APS-C sensor and an 18-105 mm zoom lens at 18mm. Because of the height of the buildings I had to tilt the lens upwards on the tripod which results in this ugly appearance. At that time I didn’t have the tools and the knowledge to correct it in post-processing.
The next problem here is the nearly burnt-out highlights. As I wrote in my last post on night-photography in Frankfurt, I should have made more than one image of each setting with slightly different aperture times while leaving all other settings untouched. My camera at that time already had the ability to use bracketing for such images, but I wasn’t aware of it. Thanks for using raw instead of JPG, I was at least able to recover a little bit, but for the price of some noise (especially in the last one, which is also taken too late).
So, when looking from today at these images, I have to say, I should return to Frankfurt and redo the job! In this post you can see (no, it’s not Frankfurt but some other night shots) how these images should look like when having done the job properly. I also explain the necessary technic in more detail over there.
Did you ever have such a review on old images of yours? Not only looking at them but reviewing and analyzing them with your current knowledge. It can help you a lot to make some progress. Do so with some distance. Keep out any memories (sweet or bad) and all emotions. Look at the lights, the darks, the horizon, and the overall composition. Be critical and name all the things you either made good or bad. Compare your images with similar images you can find online i.e. at Flickr. Ask yourself, could I do better in comparison with the other images? What could I do better? What are the reasons for the differences?
In case, you want to have an independent review, you can book me for an hour or so and we can discuss your images during an online session.
The guys over at dps asked for their weekly photo challenge for anything golden and gave several interesting examples containing objects colored from gold to yellow. Of course, the golden hour wasn’t left out in their examples. The golden hour also was the first idea I got, when I read the topic without having seen any of the examples.
The golden hour is the time shortly after sunrise and right before sunset. The more you came to the poles, the longer the golden hour lasts, or the more you come to the equator, the shorter the golden hour is. Here, in my area, the golden hour usually lasts 20 – 30 minutes. During the golden hour the sun stands low over the horizon and that’s the reason for these beautiful colors.
Often you don’t have any wind during this time of the day, because the sun is the engine for the wind. This is true especially in the mornings. So, getting up early pays back.
This is my first share for any of the photo challenges at dps, although I read their posts for a very long time every now and then for getting ideas and to enjoy the photos.
You wonder about my subject?
OK, here we have a saying for the kids: when the evening sky turns orange / red in fall and early winter like in the photos, that the angels and the Christkind (Child Jesus Christ) are starting to bake cookies for christmas. And the color is from heating the oven. Even nearly no one has a oven to be heated up by wood fire, the saying still exists.
Are there similar explanations for the reddish sky during fall and early winter in your country?