Long Shadows

As the days grow shorter and the sun’s path across the sky becomes lower, the shadows grow longer.

We were out on a shortish walk in one of our well-visitied locations and I looked through  a small copse of trees as the light flickered in my eyes. It was the shadows that attracted me: splayed out on the lit grass. The light was just on the turn, glowing warmer with every minute. I hid the sun behind a tree and took this shot. For me it sums up the simple beauty of a walk in the approaching dusk._DS82560_wp

I converted it to black and white, creating an image that is devoid of warmth, but which accentuates the shades and lines of the colour image. I’ve been searching for the right word to describe the mood it evokes in me – the best I can come up with is elegiac. What feelings does it evoke in you?_DS82560_BW_WP

A warm welcome to all the new readers of this blog, and do please feel free to join in the comments and discussion about what I post.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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21 Responses to Long Shadows

  1. suej says:

    Oh, I like the “simple beauty of a walk in the approaching dusk”….. I took similar types of image the other day, as I was trying to ‘see in black & white’!…. May post sometime. The monochrome works well because you are focussing (excuse pun) on the textures and shapes.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Sue – it’s a beautiful, but all too short, time of day. I love the simplicity of B&W – it all comes down to the tonal range and the shapes and lines. And crucially B&W is so much more tolerant of blown highlights and rich blacks – in fact that’s the beauty of B&W for me: contrast!

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Both versions work very well from different points of view. The colour for the beauty of the moment, and the B/W for the elemental forms and contrasts.

    By the way, where did you meter the light?

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks for your comment. I think you’ve summed up the differences very well. My approach to metering is very simple. Even in situations like this I use Matrix metering and set the EV to -0.5. My experience is that in most situations that will give me an acceptable histogram and the EV adjustment helps to protect the highlights. I ski and climb in the European Alps and the light out there can be very bright but also quite contrasty. I experimented with settings and I found that Matrix metering with slight under-exposure worked well in the vast majority of occasions. It makes shooting a lot simpler than having to keep adjusting settings, and then forgetting to re-adjust them for the next shot.

  3. Lovely capture of the shadows Andy. I really like the B&W one 🙂

  4. John says:

    Both images are nice. I love the shadows too. The B&W seems to have some additional processing that accentuates the details.

  5. shoreacres says:

    Having just spent a week driving what passes for mountainous terrain here in Texas, and doing so in late afternoon, moving from shadow to brilliant light through the hairpin turns, I much prefer the colored version. It captures something of that same experience.

    There’s something about the light this time of year that evokes an almost primal response: the grove become Stonehenge, perhaps. For me, it’s not a question of color vs. black and white so much as it is a question of which does better at capturing the light. There, the first wins, hands down — at least for me.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. A well put case for the colour version, I would say. I think we all approach images with our own personal experiences, and through our own creative eye.

  6. I love the long shadows of this time of year. They are particularly attractive from a stand of trees like you have captured here. I like both images but prefer the color version of this scene. Nice work, Andy.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Jimi. I have to confess I too really like the colour version – there is something about the quality of light at this time of year when the sun is low in the sky.

  7. These two versions really show how different moods colour and black and white evoke. The colour version is for me about happiness and lightness and even have a spring feeling to it even if its captured now in the autumn. The black and white version evokes more gloomy feelings, the end of the day, some sadness and unresolved tension.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks so much Otto. You have summarized the different moods very well I think. I’m thinking out loud now, but I wonder if generally speaking B&W can convey a wider range of moods than colour due to its tolerance of contrast manipulation?

      • I think that’s generally how black and white is conceived, but at the same time a lot of moods and feelings are associated with different colours. I think often colours get in the way, so to speak, while black and white doesn’t distract from the mood you want to create.

  8. Beautiful, beautiful shot Andy. Love the long shadows and the low lighting is perfect for this shot.

  9. Chillbrook says:

    I can usually choose, this one is much more difficult for me Andy. I love the colour; its warmth. The image evokes feelings of the bitter sweetness of late autumn, early winter. The black and white is much more about the geometry of the image as you say Andy, and I like that very much. The blown highlights of the first are not at all noticeable in the second and demonstrates the tolerance you speak about very well.

  10. Len says:

    Both are excellent versions of the scene Andy. I think that I favor the color version a little better as it better conveys the warm glow that created the long shadows.

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