Light in its many Shades

There is no one form of light. Light comes in many, many different colours and intensity. And we all have a different perception of light and what it means to us. In fact, humans tend to like a particular time of day and the light it brings. Most of us love the late afternoon sun and the glorious light it brings. Here are two incredible sunsets provided by J of Sandringham. The first is Homebush Bay, Sydney illustrating the dramatic contrast between light and dark which can be achieved. The stillness of the sky reflected in the water is remarkable.
The second sunset was taken at Little Beach, Port Stephens, NSW. I know we're talking about light but isn't the composition of this photo great with the dark silhouettes of the people contrasted against the subtle colour of the water. The colour tones produced by the light of the setting sun are beautiful.
The impact of the light in both these images is enhanced by the absence of clouds.

We will now turn to look at images where the beauty is found in the effect of the sun's light on clouds. J said in her email to me that she remembers the fabulous cloud formations back in Holland and can see similarities in the clouds over Melbourne. Interestingly she believes that the cloud images we get down here in the south are far more diverse than up north. Thanks again to J for these images. The first two were taken along Mordialloc Beach, Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne.

If you are a painter, study the bands of colour carefully and have a go at reproducing one of these images. Notice how the light is reflected in the water. First look at the underlying colour of the sky and paint that followed by the clouds.

The cloud formation in this photo from J., taken at Sandringham Beach, Melbourne has remarkable cloud formation with the dominance of the distinct ridges. This photo would also make for a very interesting painting especially the brilliance of the white light of the disappearing sun.
I will complete J's photo set with this amazing shot which as she says, could be a Monet painting. This scene was also shot at Sandringham Beach, Melbourne. The drama going on in the clouds amongst the orb of white light is contrasted with the darkness of the foreground. Make a wonderful painting but be warned - it will take all your patience to get the cloud formation right!

Did you know that a tube of paint changed the light in paintings forever? In 1841 artists could finally buy paint in a tube and so it was portable which meant they could easily go outside to paint, taking all their tubes with them. And so the style of paintings changed especially into the works of Impressionism which is closely associated with lighting effects. This point is dramatically illustrated by an oil and mixed media painting by the modern artist Stefan Mierz titled Moonrise Dream. I'm not sure if this is his intention but it serves today's message very well. Look at the light of the moon across the water leading to the pile of real paint tubes which allowed artists to move into new and exciting locations where they were able to observe nature at its best.
Here are a couple more paintings by Stefan Mierz.
This painting is titled Cool Sunset.

Stefan Mierz lives in Rockport Massachusetts. If you would like to see more of his paintings please visit this site.

The Hero Image is Moonlight Over Thacher Island by Stefan Mierz.

There is a lot more to say about light so we will continue this topic tomorrow.

Anne Newman

Oil Painter in realistic genre style, predominantly buildings and people. To continue the discussion contact Anne on or phone +61 407 516 522

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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