I’ve been reading a lot recently about how the interplay between light and shadow in a photo serves to increase the visual interest of an image. In summary, on top of perspective, shadow helps the brain to sense depth in a two dimensional image. Therefore the key to creating compelling images is to ensure that they contain a good balance of light and shadow.
In landscape photography, the light source is generally the sun. Shadows cast by buildings, trees and other obstacles in the frame are at their longest when the sun is low in the sky. As already stated above, this helps to increase the sense of relief in the image overall. It also serves to reveal the texture of individual surfaces within the picture. Therefore, from a lighting perspective, the best time to take landscape pictures is generally the early morning or the late evening, when the sun is good and low in the sky.
As well as creating shadow and revealing texture, early morning and late afternoon sun that is low in the sky tends to take on a warmer, more golden colour. This is due to the fact that the light has to travel through more of the earth’s atmosphere before it reaches its subject. The result is richer yellows and reds that appeal to the viewer. You can read more of the details behind this phenomenon here.
With this in mind and the promise of clear skies from Metéo France. I headed out to Daglan (north east facing according to Google Earth) in the early morning with hopes of putting the light/shade theory to the test.
I’m pretty pleased with the results and feel that the quality of light/shadow has added something to the images that wasn’t necessarily present in last week’s set from Cenac. Definitely something to be explored further.
Thanks for looking.