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Neodigital Art | Difficult Light


Winter photography

When I’m taking photographs in winter the light is often difficult. I was standing on the bridge over the canal to take this shot. The sun was low in the sky in the afternoon and behind me for this shot. I edited this photo and added highlights to try to make the tree silhouette against the white bleak sky. Depth is provided by the tree and the canal going away into the distance. I also like the hedge row that runs along the side of the canal.


The scene shooting down the canal from the same bridge but due West; into the sun is a lot more interesting but harder to do. The position of the sun creates lots of shadows. The lock keepers cottage is reflected on the canal and so are the locks and narrow boats. The trees are silhouettes against the sky and the one on the left is also reflected on the surface of the water. 

I looked on Google Maps to see where this canal goes and it joins to the canal in my header picture at the top of the page!


Man made structured can make an otherwise boring picture interesting and this little bridge was  good subject. It leads into an arboretum and the rest of my pictures of trees and fields at this location were quite boring.


When I took this shot, I had the same problems. I have the sun behind me reflecting off those trees. I also took a few shots from that bridge that you can see in the distance; into the sun. The shots into the sun had a 18th century bridge on them and so a little more interesting. I chose this picture because of the winter colours and trees set against the white sky.


Finding locations is like a treasure hunt. You see a lake or canal in an urban area on the map, but access isn’t always easy!  You can see the path from the street on an ordinary housing estate that leads to this bridge across the canal. I was shooting again with the sun low in the sky and you can see the shadows; the sun was to my left. Taking pictures down the canal either meant the sun would be behind me or I would be shooting into the sun. Neither option resulted in very good pictures because the canal is lined with trees. There were locks on the canal but I had to zoom in to see them clearly.


Canals are usually straight and level, especially level (or the water would run out!) so when you need to go up a level, locks are used. This picture is hard to understand, but the canal if going to a different level and in the distance you can see a bridge where the road goes over the canal; then more locks and another bridge. This contrasts to the canal in the first picture that runs straight and then has a bend in it.

I hope you liked today’s blog and pictures, there are more amazing blogs on my Home Page. Local readers might like to guess where all the pictures were taken. One was Walsall Arboretum and the Tame was Bentley Mill Way. The canal pictures were near Aldridge Air Field. The bridge over the canal and the locks are hidden away near The Yew Tree. Please comment and click ‘share’; I need more readers!


20 responses

  1. I absolutely love your first shot. I can just see myself flying down that side road edging the water on the back of a horse!. The colors are stunning.

    31, January 2012 at 4:45 pm

  2. Hi Marcy,

    Thanks. I wasn’t sure about that shot when I was taking it. It looked a little boring compared to the one with the narrow boats but I like it now. It was worth going out in the cold weather! 🙂

    31, January 2012 at 5:29 pm

  3. Hi Mike, I agree with Marcy, the first picture is my favorite this week, I think because of the colours in the sky.

    I also like the man-made stone bridge. It seems charming to me.

    I like the other bridge too. Your eye is drawn to the bridge, not the housing estate.

    Of course, I enjoy all of your photos, Mike. Thank you for sharing them with us along with the explanations. I find them to be very interesting and helpful!

    1, February 2012 at 2:30 am

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I like the first picture but I did have to make it a little darker so I could see the clouds and the reflection of the clouds on the water. The little bridge looks a different colour too but I think that is the colour it really was. It was covered in green lichen and that makes it more interesting. I think everything is covered in green lichen now!

      1, February 2012 at 9:03 am

  4. Hey Mike, The Dark Globe February Shoot Off! Photograph Competition has Officially Begun, For More Info Head Here


    1, February 2012 at 8:46 am

    • I will be taking a look at the photo competition later.

      1, February 2012 at 9:04 am

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  6. Nandini

    Beautiful photos, Mike! Green and wintery, loved all of them! 🙂

    1, February 2012 at 2:43 pm

    • Hi Nandini,

      It was cold though, had to keep going back to the car to get warm! I can’t wait for the daffodils!

      1, February 2012 at 3:12 pm


    Hi Mike,

    Love your photography tips and your photos are beautiful. I always seem to have a problem with lighting so I will put this blog to good use. Love the shadows! I am new to your blog and you offer so many useful tips on so many subjects. Thank you. I will be back.

    3, February 2012 at 4:12 pm

    • Hi,

      I do a blog nearly everyday and I try to do the Neodigital Art blog every Tuesday. I have just come off the phone arranging a new website that should be good. It will be 24 hours before I can work on it and a few weeks at least before it’s ‘live’. I have a subject for everyday of the week nearly now. I was doing something involving YouTube video tomorrow but had trouble with the links so have to think of something else!

      Thanks for the comment and if you have any questions, I will try to answer them. I have some new photos for next Tuesday, geese walking on a frozen lake! 🙂

      3, February 2012 at 4:33 pm

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