Saturday, January 13, 2007

Concrete stairs


Sunny green
Deerfield Beach, Florida, January 2007

The buildings in the development where my in-laws live are built from concrete. It's a great choice for a hurricane zone, but the lack of variety betrays its roots in 1970s architecture. On the surface, it can be somewhat monotonous and otherwise not worth capturing. That is, until you look more closely at the details, or come back to the same ones at different times of day.

The light down here plays differently than it does back home, so even a seemingly sterile concrete building can offer up an interesting palette of color, light and shadow. The floors on all outside surfaces are painted a fairly standard shade of green, while everything else is white. On a cloudy day, it can look institutional, but when the full sun is out, its brilliance reminds you why Florida looks unlike any place on the planet.

I came back a couple of times to this spot at the bottom of the stairs near my in-laws' condo. The first shoot was a bit of a botch (yup, I make mistakes!) I exposed for the green and ended up washing out the white. It bugged me that I blew the shot, so just before we left, I went back and took a little more time with the light.

Your turn: What's your favorite time of day to shoot? Why?

One more thing: Click here to return to the Institutional green entry, posted February 4, 2007.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love the horizontal lines of the shadows echo-ing the horizontal steps.

It's true what you say about the light on concrete. In the sun it can look fantastic but it seems to emphasise dullness when there is little light. However, not all concrete needs to be boring - the Romans used concrete extensively and it looked fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I like the shadow that the railing tosses across the stairs.

Michele sent me this time...

srp said...

I have read that for landscapes, the only times of day to shoot are sunrise and late afternoon because of the light and shadow relationship. But then I have just started reading about all this and sometimes you can miss the shot entirely if your head goes through all these thought processes.

kenju said...

Since my camera is a point and shoot, I don't have a favorite time of day. It won't matter what time of day I do it, but I prefer bright sun, of course.

kristal said...

I love the light just before the sun goes down. Everything starts glowing yellow and the colors really pop. I'm spoiled with light, because anytime is a good time to shoot here in New Mexico. Lots of sky, not a lot of pollution.

Lisa said...

I love the way the light playes on the stairs. Its nice to see the sunshine, and remember that the sun really is out somewhere this time of year!! :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm still a novice photographer, so I'm still learning. I must admit that I enjoy two extremes when I'm taking pictures: Mid day bright sunniness and overcast. I think you can get some interesting pictures in both of those lights.

Anonymous said...

Late afternoon. Sometimes the sky's got a nice, orange hue (probably from all the old chemical plants in Niagara Falls).

Eh... Actually whenever the boys are feeling photogenic.

Also, there's something to be said for neon lighting. It makes the night shots pretty jazzy.

p

here via michele

Becky68 said...

Such beautiful work with the shadows & sunlight,
I like to take pictures in late afternoon sun myself. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be getting a scanner & can start putting some of my regular pictures online. Most of what I really like I did with an 'old fashioned' camera!

PI said...

I've never been to Florida but my son 1 and family love going there.
My favourite time to shoot is late afternoon on a dull day when bright flowers in the garden seem to glow. Here via Michelle and thanks for the visit.

Anonymous said...

I like evenings, with candlelight. Probably because I'm getting old!
I'm here via Michele today! hi!

Anonymous said...

hi there.

The photo reminds me of baseball....perhaps it's the green like the field? Or it looks like steps down to a field..... i dunno.

My fav time for taking pics at this time of year is mid to late afternoon. I like the angle and shading that time of day.

In the summer.....early morning, or right after a rainfall and it's cloudy if I'm taking close ups of flowers.

kenju said...

This photo is very serene, Carmi. The horizontal lines make me want to take a nap (but today, everything makes me want a nap)!

Michele did it again.

Dak-Ind said...

greetings from michele!

it is always a visual treat to visit your place. you have such a talent with photography.

im not much of a talented picture taker (my mom is, if you havent been to her blog you should check it out!) but i like to take pictures in the late afternoon towards evening, mostly because thats the time of day we are outside and Indy is at his smiling best for the camera, haha.

Nikki-ann said...

I don't really have a favourite time of day to shoot. I can depend on the time of year and the weather as to when I go out and shoot some photos. Different times of the day can produce quite different results sometimes.

Anonymous said...

People have a favorite time of day to shoot? :)

Anonymous said...

Carmi: How cool! I spent a lot of time last year in that area and of course Demi Moore's "Striptease" movie was filmed there.

What caught my eye always was the multi-colored dwellings in bright pastels. Also, each beach seemed to be unique from the other. A very interesting area. A great photo!

Anonymous said...

That really makes me miss sunshine...I think we are on day 100 of cold, dreary weather here. The photo is very crisp between the lighting and the colors.

Anonymous said...

I have been struck by a yellowish, almost sepia tone of the twilight hours around here lately. I never really noticed it before... it might be a seasonal phenomenon. It doesn't last long and I have yet to get off my lazy butt to try to capture it yet.

And tonight it's a little too late, maybe tomorrow.

Via Michele's,

Mike

Wordnerd said...

Ah, leave it to you to capture the beauty in an otherwise unattractive object -- this photo simply MOVES. Wonderful work!

Here from Michele's!

Mother of Invention said...

I like the sunset time because the angles of light are neat and reveal so much warmth and various colours. Just plain pretty with neat clouds too!

Blond Girl said...

Hi Carmi!

When I saw the picture, I immediatly smiled. I didn't see concrete, I saw sunlight. Very nice!

My favorite time to shoot is late afternoon - before dusk but when the sun is lower in the sky - say around 4:00 or 5:00 on a summer afternoon. It causes the light to drape the subject instead of pour down on it. The shadows are not so harsh - especially on faces.

Say, I know you're a writer, so I need you to please visit me. I am asking for opinions and yours, Carmi, will be one of the most valued of all. Thanks!

Dean said...

I like shooting in the slanting light of dawn. I like the warm colour and the strong relationships that are possible.

People get the same effect at sundown, but I think it's softer then.

Anonymous said...

Love this photo.

The shadows that appear in pictures are my favourite.

Anonymous said...

I have discovered a reason to love winter in Ontario: the days are so short that almost any time of day(light) provides fascinating golden light and crazy long shadows. Even at noon.

Mmmm... stairs. Love it.

David said...

i dont know about a favorite time of day, but I just set the tripod up in the driveway and snapped Orion in ten degree weather. I need more practice, but I was happy with my 15 sec exposure, now I need to figure how to adjust the F-stop.

I like the stairs
onward and Upward!

Terri said...

Love the lines and color of this shot, but most of all the sun's reflection on the steps.
I'm not as professional a photographer as you are, Carmi, so I really don't have a "favorite" time of day. I guess it's pretty much "whenever" the mood strikes me.