Here in Glasgow, the light changes quickly. Sunlight is diffused by the cloud cover for most of the daytime hours, and when it sets, that light can dissipate with alarming speed. Now that we’re starting to get out of the winter season, daytime itself is getting a bit longer, but the twilight transition feels as short as ever.
Now, my flat windows aren’t exactly the ones that open onto sprawling, endless pastures, nor over bustling city streets. Most of the view is a plain mystery building and the flats beyond it. A street lamp adds a little bit of foreground interest and bridges the near building and distant clouds, giving the eye a way to move between the two halves of the sight. Nothing spectacular, but plenty useful enough for a little study.
After today’s rain, the clouds started to thin out just a bit, revealing a hint of their texture and movement.
This view is towards the north-northeast, and in Glasgow the sun sets considerably towards the south. As the direction of the light changes, even despite the cloud cover, the difference can be quite dramatic.
The clouds suddenly parted directly overhead, but because the sun was getting low, the clouds to the south left much of the neighborhood in shade.
The sky overhead stayed fairly clear for another hour or so, with little remnants of the rainclouds trailing along behind. The local seagulls came back around in time for the businesses disposing of their rubbish at the end of the day.
Then, like a flip of a switch, a cloud rolled back in and twilight began.
The sodium streetlamps have an interesting red cast to them as they warm up to their strange yellow hue.
And as night sets in, the lovely contrast between the cool sky and warm lights really starts to come out. There are few subtleties to Glasgow’s night lighting — surfaces and forms become more graphic as the light spectrum is reduced in range, and shadows take on a strange combination of soft and directional qualities.
In a city where the light is so similar day to day and hour by hour, these little happenings sometimes remind me to keep my eyes open, looking for the unusual and fascinating things that could happen at any moment.