Winter Light (photography)

The grey season.  In the northeast, wintertime without snow is a drag, particularly for outdoor photographers.  I need some snow here.  Not just on the ground – we need snow sticking to tree branches.

This winter has brought a fair amount of precipitation, but it’s been rain rather than snow.  What little snow we’ve seen has quickly washed away as snow turned into rain. So here are a few shots from last winter.

Old grist mill, in winter

Old grist mill, in winter

 

The first is an old grist mill. It is pretty – I hope that much is obvious. However, the light may not be obvious. The orientation of the mill and surrounding trees doesn’t catch much direct sunlight. The sun is setting on the other side of those trees. The light is what it is and there’s no changing it.

In photography, we have to be aware of the orientation of the subject with regard to the light.   When the light on the subject is not what we would prefer, you can sometimes move the subject, but not if the subject is a building.  You can sometimes move the light, but not if the light happens to be the sun.  You might come back at a different time of day, when the sun is in a different position.  However, I believe this mill is in shadow of the trees both morning and evening.

Church at sunset

Church at sunset

Sometimes, in outdoor photography, using only available light, there’s nothing you can do to change the light on the subject. But you might find a different subject to photograph. Across the street, a church was catching the light of the setting sun. So, I photographed the church. And next to the church is a historic one-room schoolhouse. Nice light, eh?

 

(To see a larger view, click on any image. )

One-room schoolhouse

One-room schoolhouse

I included this last image (schoolhouse) in a recent 2015 wall calendar.

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