Friday, 9 January 2009

Icy light

January 8th 3.30pm - The sun sets over a North Yorkshire field

January's light has a colourful combination of cold and warm tones. The best time of day to see this unique type of light is either early morning, around 9am at the moment here in the UK, or later in the afternoon starting at about 3pm. The light is cold and yet at the same time.... warm.

I set out on a walk along the old railway line and just had enough time to get a few shots before the sun set behind a cloud bank. In about a minute, the light dropped noticeably as the sun descended gradually behind the mass of cloud. It always surprises me how light levels can just drop so quickly - around two or three f/stops vanished in less than a minute. The dark cloud bank slowly crept its way north easterly towards me - ten minutes later you could no longer see any hint of blue sky. I thought it might snow.

I stopped for a second. Should i start heading back now that the light has gone? i thought. No, i decided and then headed on along the mud covered track, a track engraved with a variety of different markings left behind by walkers, runners and riders who use the old railway line. My decision paid off because i came across the image above just before the light dropped down to low levels - the good light had gone. I like the cold bleak look... but there is a hint of warmth there.

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