EYV Exercise 4.2 Natural Light

For my initial attempt at this exercise, I set my camera on a tripod to ensure, as far as I could, the same viewpoint. I chose a consistent focal length and attempted to capture the scene as I saw it. I used manual mode but kept the aperture the same throughout to ensure my images looked alike in terms of depth of field.

It was a very flat grey day with considerable cloud cover and I almost decided to wait for a ‘better’ day. However, the brief said it didn’t matter if the day was overcast so I persevered.

I had considered the brief’s suggestion of ‘working into’ the subject, and I intend to have a further attempt at this exercise to try and do something different. On this particular day though, I was home all day and so took advantage of this to make a first attempt at observing the light.


10.49am                   50/34 mm 1/60  F5 ISO 200


12.53pm                     50/34 mm 1/60  F5 ISO 200


14.19pm                      50/34 mm 1/30  F5 ISO 200


16.29pm                       50/34 mm 1/1.3  F5 ISO 200

With artificial light


16.31pm                       50/34 mm 2 secs  F5 ISO 20

The first three images here look very similar. I chose the leafy plant because I wanted to see how the light affected the colours and shadows. This was a day with very weak and filtered sunlight but I can see variations in the colours of the leaves. The image taken near noon is slightly brighter, with the colour in the leaves more yellow.

I had put on the house lights in the 16.29pm image and this is where the change in the light became more apparent. The warm temperature of the artificial light is reflected on the leaves.

The 16.31pm image was an attempt to re-take the previous image but without the artificial light. I turned off all the house lights and tried to capture the scene as I saw it. It was actually becoming quite dark and the green of the leaves is less visible. The white of the bench stands out and, in hindsight, I should have checked if there was a light source, perhaps a street light, in addition to the last light of the day, that could have affected the colour and visibility of the bench.

I found that manual mode allowed me to capture the image more realistically. Had I taken these images in automatic mode, my camera would have metered for mid grey and the darker images would have been lighter and therefore less accurate recordings of the scene.

My favourite image is the one lit from the front with artificial light. I think the light suggests activity nearby and therefore a story, which is absent in the other images.  I am looking forward to experimenting more with the beauty of artificial light in exercise 4.3.


Please see my second attempt at this exercise in my post: EYV Exercise 4.2 (part 2)


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