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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Photograph lighting with the sun
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07/12/2006 01:49:18 AM · #1
Does the angle of the sun shining on a landscape or subject have a sweet-spot, or angle, that would bring out more contrast and dynamic range?
07/12/2006 01:50:45 AM · #2
when the sun is over your shoulder, i think thats the sweet spot. use a CPL, even sweeter :)
07/12/2006 01:52:43 AM · #3
The reason I am asking is ( I thought I seen it in a thread somewhere) that a lot of photographers get up early or stay up late to get the right lighting when doing landscape because of the suns angle.
07/12/2006 01:53:53 AM · #4
You mean "the Magic Hour"?

Basically it's twilight. That special time when the sun isn't quite up or down between day and night.
07/12/2006 01:56:44 AM · #5
Originally posted by Megatherian:

You mean "the Magic Hour"?

Basically it's twilight. That special time when the sun isn't quite up or down between day and night.


I tend to avoid the magic hour, because it's too cliche and also those times never work well with my schedule. :P

Anyway, I tend to get good contrast around 3:00ish or so.

Message edited by author 2006-07-12 01:57:36.
07/12/2006 02:11:45 AM · #6
Ok here is the reason I was asking. Taking nothing away from the talent of the Icelander's could the sun's angle being near the sweet-spot most of the day give an advantage. More time to shoot. Just a thought.

I know everyone of them could take a good picture anywhere but I was wondering if the suns angle helps make such wonderful landscape pictures.
07/12/2006 02:17:09 AM · #7
From Bear's tutorial on landscape - my take is that you (or most photog) would like the "raking light" to get the texture out of the landscape.

edit: oops ;)

Message edited by author 2006-07-12 02:23:21.
07/12/2006 02:20:16 AM · #8
scraping or raking? LOL
07/12/2006 02:21:41 AM · #9
Originally posted by Southern Gentleman:

Ok here is the reason I was asking. Taking nothing away from the talent of the Icelander's could the sun's angle being near the sweet-spot most of the day give an advantage. More time to shoot. Just a thought.

I know everyone of them could take a good picture anywhere but I was wondering if the suns angle helps make such wonderful landscape pictures.


This is definitely true; one of the reasons I moved to Cape Cod was to get further north for more interesting light and weather. Megatherian's "magic hour" is wonderful, but any time you have the sun low in the sky and sweeping across the landscape, you are in business. The further from the equator you are, the more raking light you get, at least at the right time of year.

This is the "magic hour", btw: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/323600.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/323600.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

And this is raking light shortly after dawn: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/183910.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/183910.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

R.
07/12/2006 02:28:38 AM · #10
Is there a difference between the morning and evening "magic hour"? I prefer the morning but that is mostly because there's less people about.
07/12/2006 02:29:47 AM · #11
Originally posted by coolhar:

Is there a difference between the morning and evening "magic hour"? I prefer the morning but that is mostly because there's less people about.


Usually less atmospheric pollution in the morning. Usually less wind in the morning. Your mileage may vary...

R.
07/12/2006 02:31:40 AM · #12
Thanks Robert I was hoping you would chime in with an answer. What made me think of this was I was looking at J-track and it was showing the most southern portion of Iceland had about 4 hours of darkness (and all that is not dark) and most of Iceland was 24 sun. I got to thinking man with the sun that low in the sky is it an advantage or disadvantage.
07/12/2006 02:40:44 AM · #13
Originally posted by Rikki:

scraping or raking? LOL

oops! got it corrected, hehe - apologies especially to Bear; English just isn't my first language.
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