Monday, March 19, 2012

Eastern Point Light photo study

When I started to think about the text for this post, the thought came to mind of starting it with, “It’s always pleasant to go for a stroll on Dogbar Breakwater.” Well, that isn’t always the truth. It can be rather nasty out there. But that was not the case yesterday. It was a pleasant 45F, calm and sunny.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

This is the typical picture that one would get, shooting straight down the breakwater to the light. But unless we were doing a study in brown grass, this shot is not very interesting. Let’s see if we can play a bit. The sun is going down, maybe we can get some colors.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

As the sun sets, the shorter wavelengths get scattered out by the dust and water vapor that the light travels through. The result is the color temperature gets warmer, meaning that the colors shift towards the yellows and reds. The artist's concept of color perception of red being warmer and blue being colder just adds a layer of confusion to my universe.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

You see, I was trained as a physicist. In physics, the blue end of the spectrum has a higher temperature and the red end of the spectrum represents a cooler temperature. Here’s why. When you heat an object to the point is starts glowing it will start emitting predominately red light. If you keep heating it up, it starts glowing more towards the yellow and then as it gets hotter, it is starts glowing white. But if you look at the intensity of the colors, as it heats up the brightest color peak shifts from red (cool to a physicist) to blue (hot to a physicist). If you have an light bulb on a dimmer switch, you can observe this for yourself. In a dark room, bump up the dimmer switch until the filament starts to glow, them back it off a bit. You’ll see it glow cherry red. Then increase the voltage, and it will shift towards yellow.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

In astronomy, we classify stars by color temperature. You may have heard of a Red Dwarf, which is a small, cool star. Our star, the sun, is a medium sized star and emits predominately in the yellow. There are some massive, hot stars that emit predominately blue.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

So anyway, the blue light gets scattered and the red light passes through. It has to do with the size of the wavelength of the light and what is between the sun and the observer. The light is scattered by stuff that is the same size as the wave length. Longer wavelengths pass through. Thus the direct light is more red (such as the that shining on the tower above) and the indirect light (the light from the sky above) scatters down and is more blue.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

So what’s this got to do with this photo shoot? Uh, nothing.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

I’m just apologizing up just in case you end up riding in a car with me and ask me adjust the air conditioning because it is too hot and I turn the dial towards the red. I think like a physicist, not like an artist. Red is cool, blue is hot. Just sayin’.

6 comments:

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

A physicist, eh? Whaddayaknow. Interesting your professional take on red vs blue. However, I'm thinking it makes your photography hobby more interesting, knowing about the cosmos. Don't mind me - just up and having my first cuppa. Oh! Nice shots!!!

Rebecca said...

Now THAT is interesting. Cool photos too. Or should I say Hot?

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Gee Mr. Wizard, that was red (cool). There won't be a quiz on this tomorrow will there?

On a bi-note, would you consider removing the word verification from your comments? They can be quite difficult to decipher at times. Many people have done away with it since Blogger changed it's format a couple of months ago. If you also remove the 'anonymous' option this will prevent unwanted spam from appearing in your comments and e-mail notification. I think too you will receive more comments as people generally shy away from doing so when faced with captcha. Thanks.

Steve Borichevsky said...

I'm always surprised that anyone reads my dribble. Thanks for commenting.

Yes, I just detest the new commenting format. I'm taking it down. The new blogger dashboard makes it easy to deal with spammers.

The Sweetest Days said...

Well that makes perfect sense to me! However, when I think of winter and summer I think winter=blue & cold and summer=yellow & warm.

Either way the lighthouse and it's surroundings are always a beautiful shoot.

Roy said...

My brain hurts already.{:)

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