I hope everybody enjoyed the natural light challenge, and you all got to go out and enjoy at least some sunshine with your cameras.

So this challenge was all about using ‘natural light’, aka daylight, to light the subject of your photos.  It is the beloved of many photographers for the wonderful effects you can get in the setting sun, leaving a pleasing golden glow on your scene…  But wait a minute, did we not spend ages back in March trying to work out how to white balance things so that everything was a true colour and not skewed by a light effect?  Um, yes, yes we did.  We humans are fickle creatures, and while being bathed in the glow of the setting sun is admired, being bathed in the glow of a tungsten bulb quite frankly is not, despite the fact that they both have a yellow glow.  I’m not a psychologist, so let’s not try and work out why ;o)

What you should have seen is that as the day progresses, an object will appear to be different colours as the light upon it changes, from the very cool light just before sunrise/just after sunset leaving a blue/purple cast, through the reds and oranges of sunrise/sunset, right the way up to the bleaching effect of the sun in the middle of the day.

Much as I would have loved to take part in this, rain has been featuring rather heavily in my non-working days of late, but I had a little root around in my archives to show you the effects I was describing above.

Here we are just before sunrise on a snowy day December day on Rannoch Moor (it was about -10C that day BTW!)  It’s all very blue at that time, even the white frost and the grey stones look blue:

A short while later things are still going through a blue period:

And then not long after sunrise.  Look at what a difference 40 minutes makes from that first shot, that sunrise is adding in so much red to the scene that now it’s positively purple!:

Now for the middle of the day we’re going to a somewhat warmer part of the world, the Hoover Dam in late October.  This part will show you that it very much depends on your angle to the sun just what colour your sky can turn out – this effect can be enhanced by a polarising filter although there wasn’t one used here.  These two photos were taken maybe 10 minutes apart, but obviously at different angles to each other, since the first photo is of the towers that appear in the water on the second photo.  Other than the sky, the rest is subject to some sun bleaching effects, but it’s not so noticeable in the first photo because of the colours of the elements appearing:

You can see here just how much the midday sun is bleaching the colours out of the sky and rocks:

This next set of 3 photos were taken roughly mid afternoon at Bryce Canyon in Utah.  There’s still sun bleaching effects, but things are starting to warm up a little.  You can also see the effect of turning at further 90 degree angle to the sun through each photo and how it affects the colour of the sky:



These next photos were taken during the late afternoon and evening at Monument Valley.  You can see how the colours of the red rocks and sky change and get warmer as the sun goes down:


Not long before sunset everything is looking a little orange:

Just after sunset things have definitely started to cool in the bottom half of the photo:

This was just after sunset over the great Salt Lake as we took off on the flight home, the tones are all very cool here apart from that one orangey pink streak of afterglow:

Finally, these pictures from Vegas were after sunset, the first one just before the last natural light faded from the sky.  You can see here that the colours of the sky are now very similar to the pre-sunrise one at the start, even if there was about 30C difference between the two!:

Now the natural light is all gone, and it’s very flat, those fountains would have looked much nicer with a bit of colour in the sky:

I hope you got to see at least some of these effects with your photos, please link up and show me: