September 4, 2009

Certain Slant of Light

There's a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons
That oppresses, like the heft
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings, are.

None may teach it anything,
'T is the seal, despair,
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, 't is like the distance
On the look of death.

Emily Dickinson

I never really understood this poem, but when I see the winter sunlight I think of the first stanza. I always liked the late fall season, before the snows come, and the early spring before the flowers bloom. I like the color palette that arises from the browns, muted greens and dried grass tan viewed through the crisp air. Here are some sample shots that I found on-line that typify the look I am going for.

For an interesting example of how seasonal lighting affects a scene see the Sauter's Delight Blog.


  1. Oh man, I was expecting to see some photos of my layout here when I saw the article on the RSS feed :-)

  2. Send me a photo and I'll post it.