Author's site of Gennady Hertzev. Photography, graphics, painting.

Twilight photography

Twilight photography

Twilight is usually associated with the period of time between sunset and the moment when it gets completely dark. But this concept applies equally to the beginning of the day, between night and dawn. This time is forgotten by many photographers, although it can be one of the most beautiful periods of the day, when soft light changes in hues from golden to deepening reds, purples and blues. For a landscape photographer, this should be especially interesting.

At dusk, the light changes continuously, none of the conditions last long, so it is best to find your shooting point in advance and focus on the area that you think will benefit from this very specific lighting. Prepare for the fact that the sky, light towards the horizon, where the sun rises (or sets), becomes darker above. On the opposite side from the sun, the sky will be even darker. A few minutes after the sun has set, the clouds above and behind you will turn red, pink, and orange on one side and take on deeper grays from opposite edges. Over time, the clouds above and behind you will lose their color, it will only remain on the clouds in the direction of the sun. Gradually, a red stripe will spread from the horizon, filling the sky from the west side (of course, at dawn, all this happens from the opposite side).

Twilight lasts the longer, the farther north you are in the Northern Hemisphere and the further south you are in the Southern Hemisphere. Beyond the North and South Polar Circle, twilight lasts all night in some seasons of the year, while at the equator their duration is calculated in minutes. Many twilight shots owe their effect to the sky, and photographing near water with the sky reflected in it enhances this effect. The more time has passed since sunrise or sunset, the more blue the light becomes. Red turns magenta, and light objects such as white houses stand out vividly against the surrounding countryside. This circumstance can be used to add special expressiveness to pictures taken at twilight. At this time, lights are lit in the houses, and if the buildings are included in the plot, then their illuminated windows further enhance the expressiveness of the twilight.

Exposures at this time of day will be long, and the tripod will prove to be an important and necessary accessory. When the sun has dropped below the horizon, everything around is illuminated not by direct light, but by scattered light from the sky, so a highly sensitive film and a fast lens are very useful. If at this time the exposure is measured by the brightness of the sky, the landscape will look like a silhouette in the picture; if by the brightness of the landscape, the delicate shades of the sky will be lost. You must decide what is more important for a particular scene and choose the exposure accordingly. In any case, twilight allows photographs to be taken under lighting that cannot be seen at any other time of the day.