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Changing light and the careful observer

Continuing to look over some of my recent Siem Reap, Cambodia pictures, I decided it was time to pick up on a theme from an earlier post, “The Yellow Leaf”. I commented in that post, “Time spent appreciating the subtle changes in light and shadow as they fall across the subject is time well spent.” I also noted that, “the camera can pick up such changes more effectively than the human eye sometimes can.“

To illustrate this I’ve compiled the following animated GIF. The camera was mounted on the tripod, all camera settings remained the same. I made 9 images in total taken at intervals of between 30 and 45 seconds, so the sequence covers roughly 5 minutes.

 5 minutes of changing light at Ta Phrom, Cambodia

5 minutes of changing light at Ta Phrom, Cambodia

The point is that I wasn’t really aware of how much the lighting of the scene was varying until I reviewed the second image on the back of the camera. Flicking between the first and second images in the series indicated a dramatic change. It was only then that I observed the scene more intently and became acutely aware of the changes that were occurring.

We all like to think we understand and appreciate the quality of light we are working with but it’s worth taking the time to really look and study the scene intently. It’s also worth taking multiple shots like this. 9 images, identical composition but 9 very different results!

In the end, I selected the image I felt worked best (had the best light on the face of the apsara) and went to a monochrome processing. Here’s the result:

 Apsara, Ta Phrom in monochrome.

Apsara, Ta Phrom in monochrome.

For more images check out the Cambodia 2018 gallery. ~KD