Exercise 4.2 – Tower of Refuge

The Task

In manual mode take a sequence of shots of a subject of your choosing at different times on a single day.  It doesn’t matter if the day is overcast or clear but you need a good spread of times from early morning to dusk.  You might decide to fix your viewpoint or you might prefer to ‘work into’ your subject, but the important thing is to observe the light, not just photograph it.  Add the sequence to your learning log together with a timestamp from the time/date info in the metadata.  In your own words, briefly describe the quality of light in each image.

For this exercise I chose to photograph a small building known as the Tower of Refuge located in Douglas Bay, Isle of Man.  For those who are interested the following outlines the history of how this little castle came into being:

“Sir William Hillary moved to the Isle of Man in 1808 and began to know the dangerous waters of the Irish Sea which surrounded Douglas Bay. In around 1824 he conceived the concept of a life boat service manned by a trained crew. The idea was new, but soon prompted the creation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

It was not till Hillary took part in a rescue for a Steam Packet vessel and was washed overboard that he realised the coast was too far to swim to, yet a place was needed for sailors to wait for rescue. Soon after an idea Sir William Hillary had became a reality. Designed by John Welch the Tower of Refuge, as it came to be called, was completed in 1832. Situated upon Conister Rock in Douglas Bay a granite haven in the form of a small castle took its place as a lifesaver for sailors. Built ata cost of �254 of which almost half was paid by Hillary himself and the other by subscription. The tower was kept well stocked with fresh water and bread, ready to offered shelter from the weather and sea.

In 2008 the tower underwent extensive maintance work. The DOT had already installed a new landing platform early in the year and by summer the rest of the tower was scaffolded and being worked out. The exterior part of the tower was repointed and lighting installed. The tower is about 12.5 meters heigh and 52 meters around its circumference.”

http://www.iomguide.com/towerrefuge.php/accessed on 26 March 2017

Having checked the time for sunrise – 6:10a.m. on 24 March 2017 I set my alarm for some what earlier than usual and managed to get down on ‘The Prom’ for my first photo at 6:03 just prior to the sun coming up.

 In the left hand photo the light from the rising is sun is mainly to the right and is a slight pink colour with bland blue sky above.  The Tower is a silhoutte.  In the right hand photo the Sun is just above the horizon and the sky is more an orange colour.  I had a slightly different focal length for this shot so there is some interestng cloud to the left included.


For this photo I added a filter which made the light seem much more pink and because of the longer exposure the sea and other parts of the sky bluer and more tranquil.  the light again is mostly to the right hand side of the frame.


I had hoped to do the next series of shots around midday but unfortunately due to events at work was unable to get down until after two and it had to be a quick photo on the way back to work.  As can be seen the sky is much more bland with even lighting across the image.  The detail on the tower is clearer.  I had a slightly different view point for this one than the rest of the photos in order to use the lead in line (this was covered by water in all the other images).

My next attempts were around sunset time:

The one on the left is without any filters and again appears quite bland with more even lighting across the photo.  The sun at this time of the day is behind where I was standing as this is east and the sun obviously sets in the west.  Adding the filter gave some pink in the sky and the more tranquil water with the longer exposure.

The last photo was taken at twilight:


As can be seen the Tower is lit up at night (in fact it goes through a cycle of changing colours).  This meant a long exposure was needed to ensure detail was kept.  The light has reflected pleasingly in the water.  The sky is blue as at twilight and the sea has come out a deep blue.

It can be seen over the course of a day how the light changes – this was a lovely sunny day on the island but the light was definitely more interesting first thing in the morning and again at dusk/twilight.

To get full sized images please click on each image in the mosaic below:


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