Project 48: cloudy and dull weather

Task: Photograph the same view in sunlight and cloud. Note the difference in exposures.

f/1.8, 50mm, ISO 100, 1/6400 sec

f/4.5, 65mm, ISO 100, 1/350 sec

The two scenes from Castle Kennedy Gardens in the west of Scotland were photographed almost exactly a year apart in April. It just goes to show how diverse our British weather is! The first image is cloudy and overcast. The camera needed an aperture of f/1.8. The image is dull and flat. Meanwhile the second image was taken on a bright sunny day with a clear blue sky. The image is much sharper and the colours stronger. There is a higher tonal range and much more foreground interest the reflection of the bridge in the lake. The sunlight has also cast stronger shadows of the tree and bridge.

Look through photo library and identify 2 taken on cloudy days that would definitely not have been better in sunlight. Why not?


The above image was taken on a cloudy morning at Teesmouth. The cloud has muted the colours and created an ethereal quality to the image. The strong shapes of the reeds along the river in the foreground contrast with the faint shapes of the industrial structures on the horizon. If this had been a sunny day then the colours would have been much brighter but the shapes would not be as strong with less contrast.

Battlefield Camp

The above image was taken at the soldiers camp at Bosworth battlefield of a solitary girl, waiting the return of the soldiers. The cloudy sky and muted colours reinforces the mood of the image. If it had been a bright sunny day the scene would have been considered to be much more cheerful.

Surf's Down

Taken at Saltburn beach, Surf’s Down shows the figure of a lonely surfer walking back along the beach, framed by the posts of the pier. If this had been a sunny day the stronger contrasts and shadow of the pier and detail on the cliff face in teh background would have detracted from the shape of the surfer.

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