Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wonder of the Week: Low Autumn Light

Sherman granite near Blair picnic area, Laramie Mountains.
Now that it’s November, the days are short, temperatures are cool to cold, and the lighting is wonderful.  I love low autumn light.  It seems softer, warmer, much less harsh -- there's more color in the landscapes, more of interest. 
I live at 41º N (latitude).  On the summer solstice, June 21, the sun was 72º above the horizon at noon.  Yesterday, November 7, at noon it was only 32º above the horizon, so sunlight had to pass through more atmosphere, dimming it a bit.  Atmosphere scatters blue light more than red, so illumination is “warmer”.   Shadows are longer, more interesting.

Yesterday was really windy, and the quaking aspen were dancing!

For more information :

The U.S. Navy has a webpage that will generate a Sun or Moon Altitude/Azimuth Table for a given location.  For more on low light, see Atmospheric Extinction and Refraction and Photography in the Winter Season by Darren Rowse.

About Wonder of the Week -- a series of short posts with just a few photos and thoughts. The title is based on the dual-purpose nature of “wonder” (Oxford American Dictionaries):

noun --  “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable”
verb --  “... be curious to know something”

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