Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Winter shadows and silhouettes

click photo to enlarge
Many British photographers bemoan the onset of winter. The daylight hours become much shorter, so the time for being out with the camera is reduced. Even at midday the light levels are much lower than in summer, and ISO is usually bumped up, with the attendant quality hit. Winter light has an orange cast due to the sun being low, so you either have to accept that or do some post processing. Those are the main disadvantages. But there are some advantages at this time of year, and the one I like most is that low sun.

When you're out and about in winter you know that you're going to find good shadows that delineate objects clearly, and add drama and contrast to images. Silhouettes present themselves simply by pointing your camera towards the light. In summer you often have to search for these things, by rising early, or by being out when the sun is going down. In winter they are there when you want them - if the sun is shining!

This photograph of shadows and silhouettes at Morecambe, Lancashire, presented itself in the mid afternoon. A little bit of movement by me was all that was necessary to place the two main points of interest at opposite corners of the frame and give balance to the composition. The shadowed buildings, seawall, and gleaming highlights on the water add the rest of the interest to the shot.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen