Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

Lightness and Darkness

I went for a walk in the South Downs yesterday afternoon. The air was cold, there were still chunks of ice lining the north-facing side of chalk ruts in the path. The sun was up for the first part of the walk and made direction-finding easy. When it fell below the hills to my southwest it gave different opportunities. One of my favourite dusk techniques is to use the light reflections of cloud edges to gauge where the sun must be behind higher ground. This photograph from 4.30pm yesterday shows this effect quite clearly. The sun is reaching the far ground, trees and clouds, but it does not light the clouds equally. The bright edges act almost as a parabola, pointing the way back to a now invisible sun.

The picture was taken looking northeast. The very perceptive will have noticed that there are molehills in the foreground and that they are in the shaded ground, very possibly not a coincidence. Something I touch on in my book. Oh you tease, you!