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Here are some more round hay bales, this time from a farm a little further down the road and on the opposite side from the one I featured yesterday (“A Roll Of The Hay,” 11.12.12).  These were shot only a few minutes later than the images in yesterday’s post, but that was enough time for the sun to come out from behind the clouds and give these bales some nice morning sidelighting and long shadows, resulting in a very different look.

Compare these images to the ones from yesterday’s post.  Yesterday’s images have NO shadows, and the lighting is very soft and even throughout the images.  Which lighting do you prefer?  (There’s no right or wrong answer.)

Also, look at the two images in today’s post.  They’re a horizontal and a vertical of the same field.  Which image do you prefer?  (Again, there’s no right or wrong answer.)



  1. Your post is pure synchronicity for me. I am currently studying an Open University course in Digital photography and yesterday was reading about the difference that the quality of light makes on an image – how hard light casts hard shadows and soft light casts diffuse soft shadows, and also how the light can change from minute to minute. I can see the practical application of this lesson in your 2 photos. The second has a magical quality to it, that the first image does not. I much prefer the horizontal image too. I was looking through some photos I took two days ago, and I found that the vertical aspect did not bring to the image what I was hoping for. Thank you so much for your very timely post.

    • Hi Lizzie,

      Thanks for your comments. I can definitely attest to outdoor light changing minute by minute, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. Of course the trick is to be ready when it’s good, and have something worth shooting. Easy, huh? 😉

      There are times it’s definitely better to have soft, shadow-less light: portraits of people and animals, and macro shots come to mind. Pros often don’t shoot portraits or macro in bright sunlight, or if they do, they use diffusers to decrease the contrast between the bright and dark areas of the image.

      So I guess it boils down to what you’re shooting and what type of effects you’re going for…

      For outdoor photography, of course I love early morning and late evening light, but I also love shooting at night, and my favorite light of all is probably storm light (right before or after a storm).

      Thanks again for your comments. I love synchronicity! 🙂

      RPRT Photo

  2. PS I got that the wrong way round. It is the first image that has the magic!!

    • Hi Lizzie,

      Duly noted. Thanks for weighing in. 🙂

      RPRT Photo

  3. It sounds strange to say it this way, but in this case I prefer the landscape mode for the landscape. The wider image lets you show more of the mountains, and more of the fields (and somehow I like it when the middle “row” has three bales, rather than two.

    • I agree with Mike.

      • Thanks for weighing in, Lyle. A “ditto” it is. 🙂

        RPRT Photo

    • Thanks for articulating your preference so clearly, Mike. That’s really helpful. 🙂

      RPRT Photo

  4. I LOVE this one! It would be great to paint….

    • Thanks, Brinnmar. If you do a painting of any of my images, please let me know. I’d love to see it!

      RPRT Photo

  5. I prefer the landscape version too. Particularly the inclusion of the darker colours in the trees,mountains and clouds. It adds a depth to the bale shadows and gives contrasts in texture and form. Lovely. Feeling somewhat nostalgic and longing for home here.

  6. Well said, Antarabesque. I’ll take it as a compliment that my image can invoke nostalgia…

    RPRT Photo

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