11 Jan 2011

Light: Project - The time of day, pt 3

Exercise: Cloudy weather and rain

Click here to view flickr set.

This exercise calls for a number of pictures to be taken in various weather conditions: unfortunately, the time of year is not giving me any clear days at the moment so some photos are missing: I’ll add them when I can.

I could, however, take photographs of overcast days and rainy conditions. As it is evident in these photos, the clouds have created a large light source in the sky and therefore soft shadows and highlights are cast – there are no sharp or defined contrasts. If you look in particular at the tree bark, the light so far diffused you can see that there are hardly any visual clues to the depth of the tree. Instead, the image looks flat and the emphasis is on the textures of its surface.

The photographs in the rain require special attention as reflections and the less vivid colours offer an interesting compositional challenge. Aagain with just cloudy days, the light is a long softer so there may also be to problem of a lack of depth clues meaning three-dimensional qualities are achieved more through composition. What you do see, however, is more patterns emerging; droplets in puddles, people with umbrellas and symmetry from reflections.

Gregory Crewdson's latest work, Sanctuary, is a series of black and white photographs of the Cinecittà studios in Rome. A step away from Crewdson’s elaborately staged narratives, Sanctuary instead aims to capture the empty and somewhat eerie permanence of the now abandoned studios. All of the photographs in the series have been shot on overcast days, and again we see scenes that are void of hard contrasts.

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