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5.5 - Take Pictures

Out Your Window

Imagine if we could click a remote control and change the time of day.

If we could click back-and-forth from "10 A.M. light" to "4 P.M." light, we could see how the color of the light and shadows change.

You can't click a remote, but you can take a picture out of your window once every hour.

Every Hour

Look for:

• How the color of the light changes.

• How the direction of the light changes the shadows.

• How whether it's sunny or cloudy changes the shadows.

The latter is called contrast.

Shadows can be dark with sharply defined edges, such as those from sunlight.

This high contrast lighting is caused by small light sources, such as the sun.

On a cloudy day, because the light source is the huge sky, the shadows will be bright with softly defined edges.

This is low contrast light.


Monet did this exercise.

He painted a series of paintings of Rouen Cathedral at different times of day.

The National Gallery in Washington has two of the canvases.

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Rouen Cathedral, West Façade, Sunlight, 1894 Rouen Cathedral, West Façade, 1894

Have a look at others.

As you look at them, you can approximate the time of day by the color of the light, and the angle of the shadows.

You can also photograph something repeatedly, over a period of weeks or months.

Compare the photographs to learn about light.