River World: the changing lighting

Note: I am currently enrolled in an online photography master class that is being taught by professional portrait photographer Annie Liebovitz. She has had her work published in many different magazines, including Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times. She has also shown in a number of galleries, including the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. In 1980, she was asked to photograph John Lennon for Rolling Stone. He insisted on being photographed with his wife, Yoko Ono. She posed the couple and took a Polaroid picture prior to taking the picture with her regular camera. According to Wikipedia, John Lennon told her that she had captured their relationship completely. He asked that the picture be on the cover of Rolling Stone. She was the last person to photograph John Lennon. Hours later, he was murdered.

In the videotaped lessons, Annie Liebovitz has shown herself to be a gifted photographer and storyteller. She gives assignments for each lesson. For the lesson on lighting, she suggested taking a picture of a willing subject in the same place three times in the course of a day.

My willing subject was Vienna Laurendi Haak. We went to her parents’ house, located near the Niagara River at about 7:20 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. yesterday. The weather conditions were not ideal. Early in the morning, it was foggy. It snowed all day. Nevertheless, the lighting did change over the course of the day.

Here are the photographs:

Early in the morning, everything is cast in shades of blue. Vienna stands in shadow. In the background are two Grand Island bridges that connect Grand Island to Tonawanda, New York.
At noon, there is no more sign of blue in the sky or in the water. The snow has started to fall, and everything looks very light. There are fewer shadows on Vienna.
Later in the day, the overall impression is of whiteness, as the snow continued to fall. The colors in the sky and water are changing. Nightfall came soon after.

Look for another series of changing light pictures, as we have decided to do it again, on a clear day. This was a lot of fun! Thank you, Vienna, for being my most willing and cheerful model! 

Keep watching this blog for more photo essays based on assignments from the photography master class.

6 thoughts on “River World: the changing lighting”

  1. Lighting most definitely changes throughout the day, and even as the angle of the sun changes as the seasons progress. It is also influenced by where you are – when I was in Florida recently, I could see differences in lighting vs. the upstate New York we both live in. It's a fascinating thing, even to someone like me who has no professional training whatsoever. I love the "golden hour" of the time of day just after sunrise and before sunset, and there is also the "blue hour" you captured so well in your first photo.

  2. I notice different lighting on the hills I see from my house. Within a matter of minutes the sun and clouds cast different effects on them.

  3. Cerebrations.biz

    How wonderful that she is making you see for yourself how lighting affects your picture. This sounds like a wonderful course. Enjoy!

  4. I liked the one clicked in the afternoon, where the sky isn't as blue, and there is white all over, and yet you can see the model's face quite clearly.
    I also loved the snow in the pictures, Alice! The only way for me to enjoy snow!

  5. How interesting! I like the contrasts between her and the snow. She looks beautiful in the latter two pictures. And that's neat that, as Roy said, you are getting to learn by experiencing it yourself. When i think of Annie L., I think of the delightful baby pics.

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