The Essence Of Light

•10/23/2014 • Leave a Comment

Lake

 

The Essence of Light
The essence of light is very important to the final composition of a piece of art work. Whether it is the cool light of dawn to the warm light of evening. Cloudy days create its own nuances of lighting. But in order to observe these various light patterns, you must sit and observe. Remember also that the sun rises in the East and settles in the West.
As one awaits the coming of dawn the surrounding landscape is cast in darkness. From were I stand the sun will rise behind me to my right. With the coming of the sun a brightness begins to occur over the land, but very subtly. Just imagine a scene of a lake surrounded by hills. An island is in the middle background. The sun does not burst from the horizon. Other factors come into play. These would be hills and trees that block the sun’s ray’s path. Quite suddenly a small patch of light will appear on the far hill in the background. The background hills are the highest of the surrounding landscape. As you watch the patch of light evolves, spreading over the hill. Then off to the right, another patch of light appears. Very slowly spreading, with the ascent of the morning sun. The shorelines of the lake and island are still in deep shadow.
The sky is getting brighter now, but still having the light intensity of the surrounding area. With the edging of the sun up on the horizon, the background hills are losing more shadows. Then a glimpse of light appears on the near hills to my left. These are the hills that cascade down to the lake shore. Now we are getting into some composition possibilities. The glow of light upon a tree to my left reflecting into the water with a dark background creating contrast. The right shoreline is now receiving sunlight filtering through the trees to highlight the top edge of the trees. There are still dark shadows in the scene.
You must also realize the angle of your scene in relation to the path of the sun’s rays and the angle of the light that is low at this time in the morning. Go into a dark room with a small light of some sort. Maybe a candle. Place it at a comfortable height. Take a three dimensional object. Place it in the palm of your hand. Hold it off center horizontally to the source of light. Now observe what is receiving light and what is remaining in shadow. Now turn your object slightly and observe the change in light and shadow. Keep experimenting with this and I think your understanding of lighting with be better.
Back to our scene now. The hills in the background are now alight from the sunlight. The sun is still filtering through the trees to touch upon our described scene. The shadows are becoming less. Let us look at the island now. The left top edge of this island is receiving some sunlight. The evergreens on the left side of the island are edged in light at their tops. The right part of the island still in shadow. You will now observe the reflection of light on the waters surface. The shorelines are becoming more light enhanced as the sun continues to advance. There are now only small pockets of shadow to be found as the sun clears the obstacles before it. The advancing sunlight is slowly engulfing the island. The sky in the background is more intense highlight than the landscape. Before long the entire scene before you is now bright. As an artist you will want to capture the scene before it reaches that intensity. To me, when everything is well lit up, it has lost its appeal.
The end of the day is in reverse. You start out with a bright scene. We are not talking about sunsets here. It is the relationship of the setting of the sun to the landscape. Again I am placing the sun behind me for this discussion. Same scene as above. The sky in the background continues to darken. The shorelines of the lake are beginning to fall into shadow. The left side of the lake may be in shadow, while the right shoreline is still receiving light. As the sun descends to the horizon, you will observe some ugly shadow patterns of shadows. This could be in the form of straight line of shadow on the trees edging the lake’s shoreline. This does not look good. Always remember that as the sun lowers, hills and tree line alter the path of sunlight. This occurs both morning and evening. Thus the weird shadow patterns occur twice each day, morning and more predominantly in the evening. Once the sun has dropped below the horizon the lighting becomes quite even. There is a short period now to create your composition before total darkness comes.
The lighting of daytime is replaced by a magic lighting whereby the colors will take on a glow of their own. Rock structures become alive in color. It is an experience worth seeing. The wind normally becomes still, thus creating wonderful reflections upon the water. The magical moment. There are other forms of lighting such as side lighting and back lighting. I have used this type of lighting to great effect. Cloudy days give you their own unique lighting. The colors become saturated and there are no shadows. Now unique compositions can be had when there is a break in the clouds and sunlight enhances certain parts of your composition. This truly can be effective.
Whether morning sunrise or evening sunsets, both can give you an assortment of color in the sky. The colors will range from magenta, pink, red and purple. At times I have had the evening sun cast various colors on my rocky shoreline scenes. Thus an exotic scene is created. Just a matter of being there.
I hope I have created a better understanding of lighting on landscapes. Until next time happy trails!
Ken Bennison

I Had A Dream

•10/16/2014 • 4 Comments

IonaBay

The sound of waves

Rolling upon the beach

Receding before the next

Oncoming wave

The pebbles on the beach

A rainbow of colors

As they glistening in the sun

 

I had a dream

That I was walking

On a lonely beach

 

The sky was blue

The clouds moving on

The hills far in the distance

Covered in a dark mist

The beach stretching to infinity

 

I had a dream

That I was walking

On a lonely beach

 

The sun is settling

Over the vast waters

Of an ever moving

Lake Superior

The lowering sun is

Casting its Golding light

Upon the beach

 

I had a dream

That I was walking

On a lonely beach

 

The waves wash upon

The wet sand

Before receding

Leaving a golden pool

In its wake

The next wave appearing

And slowly receding

A pool of golden light

Remains in its path

 

I had a dream

That I was walking

On a lonely beach

 

The sun ever sinking

In the far horizon

Clouds a pink glow

With the sun’s demise

The darken sky

Turning a rich red

To be reflected

As a mirrored image

On the gently rolling

Surface of Lake Superior

 

I had a dream

That I was walking

On a lonely beach

 

Night has come

The stars beckon

In the night sky

The moon casting

A slivery Path

Upon the moving waters

The trees mere shadows

The hills dark on the horizon

The moonlit beach beckons

 

I had a dream

That I was walking

On a lonely beach

 

Mica Bay

•10/09/2014 • Leave a Comment

Batchawana_2802

 

 

Last week I explored in and around Mica Bay on Lake Superior. This is just North of Pancake Provincial Park. I had noticed people parking along the highway at various times. With the Fall colors disappearing at an alarming rate. it was time to hike the beaches and rocks, I discovered two trails down from the highway.

A bit of info on Mica Bay is in order. Upon some research I found some fascinating knowledge of this area. Mica Bay is very deep. Would you believe 600 feet. This includes the shoreline.  The depth is caused by the Midcontinental Rift. Lake Superior occupies a basin caused by this rift. For further reading check here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midcontinent_Rift_System

Another discovery I made was finding Jacobsville sandstone . I observed bits and pieces of this sandstone on the beaches in various sizes. It has been quarried as a building stone. It apparently reaches a thickness of up to eight kilometers. I was able to find some interesting samples that had beautiful patterns create by wave action. For more info read the following article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobsville_Sandstone

As I was climbing upon a rock outcropping I came across an ancient lava flow. The black Basalt volcanic flow here occurred about 1.86 to 1.54 billion years ago. Looking at it you would have thought it had just hardened. The composition that I created above features this ancient lava flow within the structure of my photo. This photo also emphasizes the ruggedness of Lake Superior coastline. It was a very eventful evening of exploring Mica Bay. From the geological aspect to the photographing, walking the beaches of rounded pebbles and Jackobsville sandstone. There is always something to learn about our country.

I have now three of my Wolf Lake collection available for sale. You will find them on my Fine Art Prints page.

On the weekend of Oct 17, 18 and 19 come join me and my fellow members at The Sudbury Art Clubs Annual Fall Art Show. It is held at the CNIB building in Sudbury. Everyone is welcome.Well that is it for this week. Until next time happy trails.

Batchawana Back Country

•10/02/2014 • 4 Comments

Batchewana_2656

 

Algoma, a land of rugged scenery. Canadian artists have come here to paint and photograph over the years. A popular destination of the Group of Severn.  A land covered in old growth trees. I drove up to Pancake Bay on September 22, 2014. Upon turning North out of Sault Ste Maria the scenery becomes awash with color and rolling hills stretching for miles.  I drove into Pancake Provincial Park, whereby I set up my base camp to work from. The weather turned out warm and sunny during the week that I was here. The Fall colors were in full swing.

The next morning bright and sunny, I drove to the Voyageur Restaurant. There I met a friend Brian King and his pal Joe. With map and coffee in hand we all sat at the picnic table that was available. Joe was born and raised in this part of the country. I was able to get quite a bit of info on were to explore. It was my quest to explore the back country here in the Batchewana area. There are many roads to chose from. Some were in excellent shape to a few that were a little rough at times. But they were all quite manageable. My favorite road turned out to be logging road that was at the present being used by a logging company. Once I came to know the schedule of the workers I could then plan my shots. The good thing they were all finished working by 6:00 pm and heading home. The logging trucks were my main concern. If you meet these guys pull over.

Along this road I found five good compositions to work with. This particular scene was a swampy area with lots of color. I had a hill in the background. Water for reflections. Points of land on either side with Maples in full color. The reflections worked really well to fill in the foreground. Your eye follows the water to the background. The two points of land keep you focused on the back of the photo.

Like I said previously it was a great week to be here. The joys of travelling these roads through tunnels of Maples in full color to cresting a hill to a colorful view of another hill ahead. Then descending down into another wealth of color. Travelling along the side of a hill with a stream flowing below you.   I managed to get in a fishing trip with my new found friend Joe. We caught a few Speckled Trout. Had a great time together. Looking forward to more of this. I also met quite a few folks in and around the Voyageur Restaurant area. It became routine to stop in for a cup of coffee in the afternoon. When people know what you are doing they will be glad to fill you in on the good scenic spots. Getting off the beating path can produce some great work.

This coming Saturday at the Killarney Mountain Lodge, Killarney, Ontario, my good friend Andy Lowe will be holding a concert   where upon he will be releasing his new cd.  For a sample of Andy’s work check out this video,

So until next time happy trails

at

Superior Shores

•09/25/2014 • 2 Comments

Coldwater_Bay2

 

I was hiking the Superior shorelines South of the Clearwater River mouth. The location was within the Lake Superior Provincial Park Boundry. I came upon an interesting stretch of rock that had unique patterns to it. Baldhead can be seen in the background. The Indian head seen in The Keeper post is now to the North of me. The sky is cloudy. It has been threaten to rain all day. Lake Superior was relatively calm. Gently lapping on the rocks.

Thus I set up my tripod and Canon 7D to capture this scene. There is tremendous depth  in this composition. The water foaming along the rocky shoreline. You will notice a touch of green and yellow water three-quarters  into composition. This adds a nice effect. Remember that Lake Superior is very clear. I must say that I covered a lot of shoreline in my two weeks  in August here and I managed about 10 good shots for my effort. This type of photography demands time and patience. In the end the reward is justified.

I was up on Lake Superior last week for 3 days. Was not successful this time out. The weather was not on my side. Rain and snow my last day there. So until next time happy trails

Sand Patterns

•09/18/2014 • 1 Comment

Superior_1930n

 

It was one of those beautiful cloudy days. The day was warm with a breeze off Lake Superior. Strolling aimlessly along a sandy beach. Lake Superior was on my right. The water gently rolling up the sand. To my left was the sand dunes, three feet or so above the beach. In the dunes was an assortment of plant life that keep the dunes from eroding away. Life is good when you are in locations such as this. Lake Superior stretching beyond the horizon, a gentle breeze on your face. As I continued my stroll on this beach, my eye caught bits of black color in the otherwise light brown colored sand. Running my hand through the black material, I discovered that it was indeed sand. Observing the embankment on my left I noticed a band of black sand running lengthwise in profile. The discovery of things geologically, plant life, and wildlife can be an adventure of its own. One observation that I made was the patterns as shown above. It was created by the gentle wave actions as the water rolled up the beach and receded. Thus you had a pattern of black sand on top of the light brown sand. Very simple in composition and abstract in form. All I did was set up my tripod and camera. Created my composition in the camera and shot looking down. This photo was taken in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Well that is it for now. So until next time happy trails.

Keeper of The Lake

•09/11/2014 • 6 Comments

Coldwater_Bay

 

The Keeper

 

I am the Keeper

Lying on the rocks

One of the many

Faces of the Grandfather

Keepers of the lake

I lie on the rocks

Facing the great sea

Known as Ojibwe Gichigami

Waterfowl skim the waves

Dipping their wings in passing

Eagles soar high above me

In the vast blue skies

Hikers trod my back

Along the coastal trail

The Coldwater River ends

It’s journey a short hike

Along ever changing beaches

The sand warm under the feet.

The migratory Salmon and Steelhead

Enter the river Spring and Fall

To start new life

For the coming generations

The great sea is

Through the passing seasons

Of a variety of moods

The annual storms pound

The ever changing shoreline

The great sea is never still

As I keep watch

I have been here

From times gone past

If you look carefully

You will spot me

The keeper of the lake

 
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