Light Reflection: 6 Reasons Videographers Love to Shoot in the Winter

Photographer shooting under cloudy skies using a Canon 5D Mark III


Winter Shooting

artsmith's picture

I live at lat.45deg.south, where at midday in mid-winter, the sun barely makes it to 30 degrees above the horizon, yet I work right through the winter on suitable days. The attraction, here in the south of New Zealand, is the beutiful quality of the light, which tends to be harsh and contrasy during the summer months. Typically, during the three months of winter, June to August, the light has a golden quality about it, which is lacking during the rest of the year; also on the Pacific coast, where I live, there are sufficient calm days for recording audio, which is impossible during summer. Some of the most effective shots may be taken under greyish lighting conditions when contrasts have been softened by the uniformity of the light. Even in winter with quite long shadows being cast, mid-afternoon, it is very difficult to preserved detail in the feathers of some of the birds I shoot, such as white herons, (egrets) and Royal Spoonbills, (an import from Australia), due to clipping at the extreme 'white' end of the scale of tonal values. Not even itensive work 'in-post' using colour-grading software, is capable of clawing back the lost tonal values completely. But then, much the same applies during our summers, as well. The penalty of having a very clear atmosphere, I guess.


Ian Smith

Dunedin - New Zealand