When June light calls … a photographic essay on contrast and colour
June light tending to visually wash things away, I opted for a contrast boosting “creative” setting on my camera for the first series of two monochrome images taken during a walk around the block.
The first subject of that series was a front yard ensemble of grass, shrub, floral and large leaf plant material, the sharply contrasting details of which allowed it to give depth to the image.
The visually balancing background was sketched-in so to speak, with little detail to distract from the foreground, as shown below.
The second subject of that series, reprised from the feature image, was more challenging and required various settings of the camera before finding the one that helped create a sharply detailed foreground vs. a visually light-washed background.
The reference item in selecting the final setting was the sharpness of contrast and details that gave visual presence to the wood screen located on the side of the bottom balcony, and to its reflection on the glass sliding doors, as shown below.
My second series of images, in colours, was taken from indoors my lodging at different time of day and light conditions inviting the use of colour to visually define the essence of place and moment.
The first subject of that series was a modest trio of Granny Smith apples dramatically reached by a bright sunray. The tip of the accompanying Menorah added an interesting depth-giving play of shadows.
The second subject of that series was the eerie pinkish light of pre-dawn reflected off a wet patch of asphalt of the curving street leading to the red parked car that can barely be seen through the street-light lit foliage of my favorite tree.
The parked SUV, seen on the left bottom corner of the image, and its white companion to the right are the only detailed attention catching elements balancing the image into a visual whole, together with the rich green foliage.
When the June light called, making these images is how I answered it, or, as the lyrics of Peter Seeger’s famous song would say:
“To everything turn turn turn
There is a season turn turn turn
And a time to every purpose
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maurice Amiel, M. Arch. (U.C. Berkeley) is retired professor of Environmental Design at the School of Design, University of Quebec at Montreal, where he was involved mainly in environment-behaviour teaching and applied research projects. In order to promote environmental awareness, he has turned after retiring to documenting and writing about various physical and human agents contributing to a sense of self, place and sociability ... I wish to add to my interests the fundamental role of light in photography and the visual structure of all 2D forms of artwork.
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