Sunshine, dusk and colours

by Stefan Fletcher May. 17, 2009 4972 views

I’m slightly miffed that by far the most popular post I’ve submitted here has been a long, blank vertical image (“Eskimo sex and other titles”). I’m not sure what this says about my photographic abilities or, ahem, your critical ones. According to Google analytics, these posts don’t have a huge following among the Inuit.

Anyway, instead of moping, I’ve taken my camera and tripod out at that magical time in Athens: just before dusk. The tallest buildings still catch the sun, but at ground zero artificial light contrast very prettily with the growing darkness before becoming too garish.

It’s an easy time to spot: birds get audibly excited (ornithologists can explain why they start screaming at this time). As the summer progresses and long, hot days alternate with short hot nights, pre-dusk is a time of balance. When it gets really hot in the afternoon, sounds die out, birds sleep and people stay inside. As dusk approaches, people get up after their siesta and shower. You can hear a tornado (my collective noun) of hair driers and the cafés bump up the music to attract punters into the bars they suddenly change into.

This period on the cusp of nightfall is brief and extraordinarily difficult to capture. My camera’s light meter is often thrown off. I recently bought a light meter for this and other uses, but I haven’t had time to upload camera profiles, so it doesn’t really work. I’ll be posting more of this kind of shot and would welcome any input on lighting and exposure.

The images are presented sequentially, from mid-afternoon to nightfall.

My neighbour's bougainvillea, of which I am very jealous. Selective desaturation

Playing with selective desaturation again

The purple and blues were exactly like this. Other colours muted.

I rather messed this one up, but the idea was sound.

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There are 25 comments , add yours!
Taniamindi 10 years, 7 months ago

#5 is really good!

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Rob Tulk 10 years, 7 months ago

Great time of day - the reflected sky in 6 is cool.

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Kecskemétiné Nelli 10 years, 8 months ago

Maybe you should add weird titles to all your posts.. =D

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
David Cardona 10 years, 8 months ago

Wonderful urban shots! Excellent work!

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Karen 10 years, 8 months ago

I love these shots of the local areas. I love the light in #7. Wish I too could get out at dusk, but right now the city is just a haze of sand and dust, eerrkk.

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Hong S 10 years, 8 months ago

#1 is my favourite,, great shot,,some of them are like painting,,

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jarvo J 10 years, 8 months ago

Neat set - I like it. Was the building in #3 named by Stan Boardman?

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Mikkal Noptek 10 years, 8 months ago

Cool colors. Nice effects

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Lynda 10 years, 8 months ago

Being a nosy (should that be inquisitive) person I always enjoy these forays into your neighbourhood and crepuscular light is 1 of my favourites. I love bougainvillea and am always impressed by those who can spell it! My favourite is the last shot.

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Tim 10 years, 8 months ago

I love 7, it is night on the right and day on the left, amazing!!! I´m really curious about that graffitti there, wish I could enlarge the photo even more :)))

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Eric J H Joyce 10 years, 8 months ago

Cool, how do you do selective desaturation?

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Riyaz 10 years, 8 months ago

wow a great set! love Nos, 1, 6 and 8.The reflection in 6 really adds the flavour to this photo. The colours in 8 are fantastic, and look slike a fun place to ejoy the gastronomy!

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Dorothe 10 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for your introduction! The last two are my favs because of the warm colors, and the feeeling,something will happen, people will arrive. No 6 is great.!

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Robert Moffat 10 years, 8 months ago

I love this set - each picture could work own its own - but together they give a real taste f Athens without the well-known bits! and I like the approach of evening too.

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ines 10 years, 8 months ago

I love the reflections in # 6 and the colorful last ones, great set!!!

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 10 years, 8 months ago

The first three edited photos I find beautiful.
As for the others, well, they radiate a pleasant conviviality .

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Marsha 10 years, 8 months ago

Evening sounds like an enchanting time in Athens...pleasant description! Love the rich, warm colors in the last two...and nice capture of the contrail reflections in the 6th.

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Thebronzebow 10 years, 8 months ago

Great idea. To me, 3 and 8's color bias give the strongest emotional sense. 3 = edgy, urban, colder, gritty; 8 = warmer, inviting, romantic. The other pics (again, only for me :)) draw the eye to specific pieces of the composition, but don't necessarily add to the total feel of the piece. 6 is a great dramatic pic, the color adjustment doesn't jump out at all. Dusk is a wonderful time.

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ricardo 10 years, 8 months ago

such neat buildings!
6# and 8# are my favorites!:)

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Michael Sakowicz 10 years, 8 months ago

Very interesting. I really like the selective desaturation.

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jacki 10 years, 8 months ago

Very nice color in the last two shots!

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Piyali 10 years, 8 months ago

"The long hot afternoon, siesta, birds chirping (or screaming as you say).."--they stir up so many memories..all of them are special but I especially liked the purples and blues in No#3..

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Doris 10 years, 8 months ago

I like your desription of that time of day - and the desaturation of the first pictures. The last two are myfavorites of today.

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Brian 10 years, 8 months ago

A very nice set. I particularly like the last one with the warm glow of light in the windows.

10 years, 8 months ago Edited
Hanna Westesson 10 years, 8 months ago

I like the blue photo no 3, it gives a very special feeling.

10 years, 8 months ago Edited