Monday, March 23, 2009

Civil Twilight

For the last four years I have been searching for a definition or the name of a very specific kind of light. This light occurs in the mornings 20-30 minutes before sunrise and also in the evenings 20-30 minutes after sunset. It is a magnificent time of day when the light source is not coming from one direction but instead looks like it surrounds the entire world.

The past weekend was spent in a two-day photography seminar in SLC. The first class I attended was titled "Understanding Exposure: The Zone System". I'll spare you all of the details of the class, other than to say that I had heard of this method but didn't know how to use it. Lots of practice ahead..

(back to subject) Just a few minutes into the class the instructor started talking about Civil Twilight and I nearly fell out of my chair. Finally, a name for this phenomenon that I have been experiencing regularly that gives me such delight!

Two things happen at Civil Twilight that I love. In the morning version I watch as the earth wakes up. I am usually outside and shapes suddenly become luminous and vivid. Coins on the ground practically light up because the reflections come from all around, not just the direction of the source. Evening Civil Twilight becomes important to photographers for the same reason. There is an abundance of light and it is a very warm, pleasing color.

Unfortunately, I was unable to capture any images of Civil Twilight last night or today as we have snow again. Mother Nature always has to get her last licks in. The photos in this post are some that have benefited from some post-processing techniques that I learned yesterday.



Sharyn said...

I love the surprise of Civil Twilight when I step outside. From inside it looks pitch dark...the day is gone, done, over. And when you get out you discover there is still day left, still have a whatever. Thanks for sharing, Sharyn/KalamaQuilts

Eris said...

Dangit! I thought you were gonna announce a Twilight dvd viewing party!

Neat-o pictures

The Numismatist said...

Not a chance.

bleason said...

For me, twilight is a beautiful time, but only at our get-a-way at Folsom, LA, 50 miles north of New Orleans. Located in the historic ozone belt, the fresh air at twilight is awe inspiring. Viewing the pond just outside the breakfast room as the sun comes over the pine trees is a special time.

Karen said...

I love the twilight during the summer - such great light.

I'm glad you enjoyed the workshop and if you've got tips that I can use, please send them my way.

I LOVE the mountain photo! Well done... and I also love the WCC winning photo too. Congrats on 1st place in your class :-)