Friday, December 28, 2012

Golden Hour at Penn Cove & Monet's Haystacks

Looking South towards Penn Cove
Have you heard of the photographer's Golden Hour?  This is the hour right at sunrise and also right before sundown.  With the sun low on the horizon, shadows are either non-existent or elongated due to the sun's small angle with the horizon to create interesting effects.  The lighting is more diffuse, softer, and a much warmer hue, as the sunlight is traveling through more of the atmosphere and reduces the direct light and increases indirect light from the sky.  The light then appears more reddish as the blue light becomes scattered.

South-west - Hayrolls at Penn Cove at twilight
Yesterday we were driving up on Whidbey Island, WA, right at the golden hour.  Around here, that means about 4-5 pm during the winter, due to our Northern latitude.  The fields with their giant rolls of hay reminded me of some of the paintings of haystacks by Monet.

Monet painted around thirty haystack scenes, at differing times of year and lighting.  He exhibited a group of 15 of these together in 1891 at the Paris gallery of Paul Durand-Ruel, and they were immediately considered a significant breakthrough for Monet.

Hayrolls at the Golden Hour
Monet would work on many canvases at the same time... he'd line them up and switch to another canvas when the lighting changed.  Working from the first light of dawn up until the final hints of light at dusk, Monet sought the essence of how light transformed different objects, such as the haystacks.

Hayrolls and Penn Cove
I like to imagine that if Monet were here at Penn Cove, he would have been just as excited as I was to see the incredible plays of light on the hay, sky, and water.

You might also be interested in:

Dealing with Rejection (more on Monet)
Sunshine and Sand
Skagit Skies

Light is starting to disappear
Monet's "Hayricks" 1865

End of Day, Autumn - Claude Monet

End of Summer - Claude Monet

Haystacks at Sunset- Claude Monet

1 comment:

  1. Mt favorite picture si Hayrolls and Penn Cove. Like the color and composition.