Crete Senese, South of Siena A number of people have asked me, seeing a large print of this image, how it is that the road curling its way to the distance seems to glow so pointedly white as it kinks its way toward the rear hills. The answer of course is that it is all in the lighting.

As ever, a period of observation helped clarify the lighting conditions that might best suit the scene. In the horizontal dimension, I was clear that we wanted the road lit, but it would be ideal if things fell into shadow as the land fell away on each side. The farms at the back of the picture needed to be apparent – but not fully lit. Otherwise, they would draw the eye out at the rear of the picture. I love the periods of watching the light spill across the landscape that then follow – a fluid and constant evolution, dissolution, re-creation – whoever said landscape photography was a static affair? – until the hoped for constellation magically comes into being – click! I was overjoyed that we seemed to have some shadow creep up on the front of the picture, too; the lead-in was strong enough anyway, and the focus needed to be beyond, into the middle distance.

This image was made later in the same day as the adjacent Pink villa, but the lighting conditions are softer, less dramatised – which probably suits the pastoral scene better. However, even with scenes that are a looser, more fluid arrangement of parts, you should still strive to ensure that the lighting is in harmony with your intention.
Crete Senese, South of Sienapermalink
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