Rob Gray Nature photography :: Image #00335

Image #00335

Dawn Light

Nightcliff jetty, Darwin, NT

I found this image during one of my daylight photo searches, where I use the normally useless middle-of-the-day hours to search for scenes that may be good during the 'magic hours', ie. around dawn and dusk.

Although I was fairly sure of the composition I arrived long before sunrise to ensure I had time to try other options, which I did, but this was still the best.

It was then just a case of waiting, but for how long?
There's always a bit of a gamble with an image like this. I particularly wanted the street light to be on, but also had to wait until the very first rays started to touch the pier to lift the walkway and railings.

Wait to long and the light goes off, not long enough and the scene is too dull. Is the light on a timer, or does it respond to the ambient light levels?

One option of course it to expose several negatives as you see the light improving, at some time either the light will turn off or the scene will get too bright. When that happens your last neg is probably the one.

In this case I exposed two negatives, and as it happens, the first was the best.

Note a deliberate composition decision here, I placed the horizon directly behind the walkway. This removes it and creates two areas of slightly different tones, the sky and the water, with no obvious dividing line.

This makes for a simpler and more abstract image.


Camera::Tachihara 5x4 field camera
Lens::210mm f5.6 Schnieder Symmar-S
Other details::Horseman 6x12 RFH