Diane Miller Fine Art Photography

Barn at Dawn (2002)

This is an example of how the magic light of the first rays of dawn can be captured in a photograph. In mid-day light this old barn is plain gray and un-remarkable.  But in the first few minutes after sunrise, when the light is filtered through a thick layer of the atmosphere, it is a different story! We don't see such a remarkable difference because our brain partially compensates for the color difference, but film or a digital sensor records it dramatically, as it does the blue cast of something photographed in open shade, or the lovely orange glow of pictures taken in ordinary indoor tungsten light. When an image is shot with color negative film and printed by machine, the colors are balanced in a way similar to our brain's system, so the dramatic colors are greatly reduced or absent. The same thing can happen with a digital capture if it automatically adjusted to a "normal" color balance. But if it is processed correctly the dramatic colors can be brought out.