Monday, 21 September 2015

Camera Challenge 8: Using natural light indoors
Each month Katy at The Littlest Thistle sets a camera challenge, with a follow-up post showing what we should/ might have discovered, a link up and some very helpful comments. The challenge this month has been to photograph a small group of objects in different positions indoors, firstly in different locations with good natural light - near windows.

I warn you this is a post with an awful lot of photos of the same thing. Not exactly super interesting, but bear with me.

1 Sunrise

My first set was taken within twenty minutes of sunrise:

Don't you like the IKEA trolley: now available in anthracite and cream?

All photos were taken with ISO 800 and aperture value 4.5 on an overcast morning.

The two photos on the east side of the apartment were taken further from the window, but when I tried to repeat that on the south side I discovered that, although I can hold my breath for one and a half seconds, I can't keep still! Of course I could then have changed the ISO to 1600, but that would have upset the experiment.

I found it interesting that the shutter speed became faster over the ten minutes. Clearly in response to increasing light as the sun rose. (Not that it was visible from the ground!)

What really surprised me, however is the time difference between the 2nd and 3rd photos (on the east side). When I'm at the sewing machine the trolley is immediately behind my stool, so between taking the photos I simply picked up the tray, turned through 180°, and put it on the trolley; no walking involved. The tray was, however about 15 cm (6") lower in the second photo. Personally I prefer the result with light from that angle. All in all I prefer the lighting in the fourth photo:

Just after sunrise: south side of the apartment has the best light,

the east side has the least bluish colouring, but all are blue.  

 2 Midday

All the photos were taken with the same ISO setting (800) at about our natural midday - 13:40. The weather was heavy cloud and rain.

good colour; less glare than in the early morning

Midday: good colour but probably different effects on a sunny day

but don't expect a repeat!

Late afternoon

ISO was still set at 800, and Av at 4.5. The rain had stopped, but the sky was still overcast.
good colour, but had the sun been shining there would have been interference from glare (hence the net curtains)

I think all the late afternoon photos have good colour. It was too early (around 18:00h) for the "golden glow" we were looking at last month, but there was little prospect of actually seeing the sunset that day.

Late afternoon: good colour, 

differences would probably be more marked in sunny weather

And now for the big


At least, this I had not expected:
as far from the windows as I could get
At midday; ISO 800, shutter speed 1/13th second: perfect colour.

I should add that living on the ninth floor with a lot of windows and no other tall buildings close to cast shadows, and certainly no trees this high, I have a lot of light to work with. 

And now for something completely different!

Sometimes  we can witness strange weather phenomena too. Such as this photo just after sunset during a thunder storm on 26 August, just too late for last month's challenge.
The setting sun illuminating the underside of thunder clouds. The second of three photos.
The sun had just set over to the right, but incredibly had been visible for a couple of minutes, following two hours of torrential rain and thunder and lightning. Then the last of the sunshine lit up the underside of the thick cloud cover and bathed the whole landscape in gold. I've never seen this before and found it impressive. People living closer to the ground hadn't seen the sunset, were worried and called the police!
photo 1: through the glass, when I was playing safe

photo 3: the effect is already less.
I took all three photos within one minute. The second two with the window being held open by my husband so that this crazy woman could tempt fate and stick her head out of the window at about 50m during a thunder storm!

Thanks for reading so far; I hope all the photos of the tray with coffee stuff weren't too boring for you.

I'm linking up to
so click on the image above and hop over there to see other photo studies using natural light indoors.

Happy snapping



Katy Cameron said...

You did a great job with this. As you could tell, sun would have had a harsh effect on the light, and the net curtains make a good diffuser.

You were certainly brave sticking your head out during that thunderstorm! I spent a couple of miserable years working in a room nicknamed 'the dungeon' because the building I was in was one of those lovely (!) 1970's concrete and brown glass offerings, with our only windows looking out to a sheer cliff wall coming up behind the building - we never had a clue what it was like outside since there was no natural light penetrating down there, therefore lunchtime and hometime were always a surprise, so I can sympathise with the neighbours on the ground floor!

Jo Ferguson said...

Thanks for such an informative post. Light is one of those things that we can always learn more about. Loved the colours in the thunderstorm photos.