In manual mode take a sequence of shots of a subject of your choosing at different
times on a single day. It doesn’t matter if the day is overcast or clear but you need
a good spread of times from early morning to dusk. You might decide to fix your
viewpoint or you might prefer to ‘work into’ your subject, but the important thing is
to observe the light, not just photograph it. Add the sequence to your learning log
together with a timestamp from the time/date info in the metadata. In your own
words, briefly describe the quality of light in each image.
OCA, Photography 1: Expressing your Vision, p.82
My first thought on this exercise is that I take "a subject of your choosing" to mean a single location (it could be interpreted as "photograph steam trains at various times of the day", but I choose not to).
It should be outdoors to demonstrate changes of light.
So, think of a place of interest that is easy to access repeatedly and at various times: I will ignore the stricture of doing it all on a single day. It must be local.
Eltham, then, probably the High Street and how about the end where the parish church stands? I have already photographed the church for a few exercises and spent a morning there on Armistice Day.
The church is on one corner of a crossroads, on another is a McDonalds and a rough Wetherspoons on a third. I wonder whether it might be possible to get a kind of faux, ironic Edward Hopper Nighthawks effect?
If this exercise is extended into Assignment 4 then I intend to break out an old manual focus telephoto and shoot the moon from the churchyard. And a time lapse.
Yesterday's Midnight Enthusiasm might have been a little premature. I had forgotten that there is a row of deteriorating public toilets interrupting the line of site from the churchyard to the corner. It might be possible from in front of the toilets but the angle would not be as good and I would be more obtrusive with a camera and especially with a tripod. There is also an annoying amount obstructive of street furniture, particularly road signs that I never notice except when taking photographs.
All but the first few shots were in manual mode, which is great fun. I am still experimenting with the settings, but leaving the shutter on 1/60th, the ISO on 1600 and adjusting the aperture seems to work. I will have to find out how to switch the adjustment wheels so that the aperture is on the thumb. most of the shots are on manual focus to prevent the continual interference of traffic.
Fig Ex4.2A shows the McDonalds
Fig Ex4.2B the obstructive toilets
Fig Ex4.2C the Wetherspoon
Fig Ex4.2D is a 10-shot stitched panorama from the opposite corner, showing the church. It also shows my current progress on the Affinity learning curve - I have today learned its equivalent of Photoshop's content-aware fill (i.e. inpainting) but have not learned the equivalent for adding 4 pixels to the selection to be filled, as evidenced by the top left and right corners.
The panorama also demonstrates a nice artifact of de-ghosting where the front part of a car is included because the lamp post intervenes and the same happened to a bus in the distance.
Another visit to the site today to see whether I can make Eltham High Street look interesting.
Recalling that the purpose of this exercise is to explore the golden hour and other changes of light during a day, that just doesn't happen on grey winter days, so what options are available? I have mentioned the notion of an Edward Hopper Nighthawks - influenced McDonalds window. That was what I explored today. The contact sheets are here. There is only one window which is likely to allow such an effect, there are two shots of the same incumbent below.
Figs. Ex4.2 F and G were taken at the far end of the zoom, 300mm (35mm equivalent) so that is what will be needed.
After that (#1), the other ideas I have are:
2. the moon from the churchyard, perhaps including the spire in the shot †
3. another night shot on the opposite corner, smokers at Wetherspoon's
not 4. the church is not floodlit at night, so no mileage there
4. timelapse sunset (or, rather, "going dark", there is no horizon on view)
To capture dawn and dusk time lapses, it will be necessary to note in advance the time to run and establish the base exposures so that the manual setting is known in advance, at least for the dawn shot. It was starting to get light at 7am this morning and now at 8:07 is daylight. I need an exposure value at this time to start the time lapse running in the "dark" before 7 on a day with similar weather. I also need to choose a fixed white balance setting, presumably daylight.
For the dusk time lapse it is a little easier, daylight WB and the exposure will be the starting value on that day. As regards timing, I will try to remember to make a note of it tonight.
According to item #1 on a Google search,
The above was written in the morning: the text below was written that night.
A trial run in the front garden this evening went quite well. The shoot ran from 3:30 to 5:00 with shots every 10 seconds. The camera was set to manual focus and exposure. The lens was a Panasonic 7-14 at 14mm (28mm). White balance was auto.
Next time, I'll try ISO 800 and set the white balance manually. And probably shots every 5 seconds, though that might run down the batteries completely.
The pan at 3 secs was not planned: the the camera was aimed at the most interesting sky but I realised that was vaguely east and that the sun would set at the opposite end of the road. The camera was panned manually by rotating it slightly between every shot.
The initial exposure (fig Ex4.3I) was set manually to 1/250 at f/13. This was reset using the histogram after the pan to 1/80th at f/8 which was unchanged until the end of the time lapse (fig Ex4.3J). Fig Ex4.3K was taken on auto exposure for a matter of interest at the and of the shoot to see what the nighttime exposure would be.
emails to self during shoot
It was noted during the shoot that:
16:03 - the camera screen was noticeably darker
16:06 - the sky was no longer burning out
16:11 - the screen was quite dark, all except the sky.
And 16:11 was the predicted time for sunset when I looked it up this morning - I had forgotten that when shooting and just checked when I has written up these three emails to myself.
It is interesting to see the moon appear briefly at around 15 seconds and to move visibly during the exposure.
Eltham High Street
A brief photographic aside while shopping on Eltham High Street to check which lens and position to use to the time lapse. It will be the 7-14 @ 7mm (14mm) and this shot minimises the street signs and shows a relatively large expanse of sky. If Sunday offers no rain and moving clouds, it might be then. Accompanied by a large black coffee from McD's.