The Great Diversity of Light

004_JemezMonumentMoonThe night is not just about darkness. It is about the Great Diversity of Light painted on a black background. It is about lighting possibilities and an abundance of photographic choices.

Unlike sunlight during the daytime, the night offers photographers a wide range of lighting conditions created by many varied sources of light.

Places take on a different personality at night, a different look, a unique feel.

Often I’ve studied places during the day to imagine how they might look at night. I am almost always surprised by the reality of the nocturnal scene.

Night light is so much more diverse than daylight. The difference is like, well … night and day. The night literally forces you to see differently.

IMAGE : Jemez Monument & Moonrise, Jemez Springs, NM

Every year the Jemez Monument has a holiday lighting of over 1500 candle-lit farolitos. When this was taken, the moon was rising and highlighting the clouds. The face of the monument was lit by nearby bonfires. The entire scene was awash with moonlight.

The difference in lighting among the monument, the moon and the moonlit clouds was extreme.

This image is the result of bracketing then blending a 4 minute exposure of the monument with a 4 second exposure of the clouds and a 1/30 second exposure of the face of the moon. All exposures were shot at f16 with TMAX 3200 film.

IMAGE TINT : GalleryBrownTone

The Brown tone was created to convey an organic sense of the ancient Southwestern earthen structure.

This B&W image was toned in Adobe Photoshop with an ICC Profile I generated from my Mac App “SuiteProfiler”. The Profile was derived from the Color Map “GalleryBrownTone” created in SuiteProfiler.

Click these buttons to download the ICC Profile and SuiteProfiler Color Map:

EXERCISE : The Great Diversity of Light

Go out at night and observe the diversity of light. Pay attention to the medley of light sources and variations in lighting.

See what kind of light and lighting captures your attention the most. Be aware of the impact this has on you, that is, the feelings, sensations, or thoughts this evokes in you.

Consider how you would compose an image to re-create your visual and inner experience.

Be sure to review the “Safety & Precautions” page.

NEXT TIME : “Light Sources”


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5 thoughts on “The Great Diversity of Light

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