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Sensitivity to Light >

28.1 - Take a Picture Out Your Window

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

If you could click back-and-forth from "10 A.M. light" to "4 P.M." light, for example, 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.

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.

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, because the light source is the huge sky, the shadows will be bright and 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.

Open up these two links, and compare the paintings side-by-side.

Rouen Cathedral, West Façade, 1894

Rouen Cathedral, West Façade, Sunlight, 1894

Have a look at others by using Google.

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

Set a timer.

Or, photograph something repeatedly, over a period of weeks or months.

Compare the photographs to learn about light.