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Old 12-02-2013, 02:50 PM
 
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One thing I notice about winter on the east coast (Mid Atlantic States) is how often it is cloudy and when it is cloudy it seems so dark, even at 12 noon.

I understand that every cloudy day has a variable amount of clouds but the norm on a East Coast Cloudy Winter Day seems SO DARK. While many cloudy days in the summer seem relatively bright.

Is a "typical cloudy day" in December actually darker to a light meter, than a typical cloudy day in June? If so why is so dark at noon?
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Broward County, FL
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Yes, the sun angle is a lot lower in Winter than Summer, so I suppose that does make a difference even on cloudy days. Whenever I go up north during winter, I notice that even on sunny days the sun is at a noticeably low angle even at 12 noon-1 pm. The sun is more of a gentle golden glow than anything. It's kind of beautiful, I must admit. Down here in FL, even now in early December the sun can still a bit high in the sky at times, but it's a lot better than it was back in the summertime.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Bremerhaven, NW Germany
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It's even lower here in Western Europe, almost like a lasting dawn since the sun disk barely manages to climb well above an altitude of 10. This was a picture i took in Mid December last year around noon, sun altitude was just 13 then.

If we get one of the common overcast days then, then it can stay so dark here that you have to leave the lights on for the whole day.



And i can also remember some rather dark rainy cloudy days even in the summer. Maximum sun altitude is about 60 here in Mid June and 50-55 in July, so if the clouds are real thick and low the sky can look like its late fall here.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Broward County, FL
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^^ Nice, I honestly like it when the sun is low in the sky. The light is much more pleasant, IMO.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Bremerhaven, NW Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex985 View Post
^^ Nice, I honestly like it when the sun is low in the sky. The light is much more pleasant, IMO.
I agree, i like those days too and in my opinion it also has a better mood for photographs.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:55 PM
 
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I think it is more than the angel of the sun because many winter sunny days seem so bright.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Broward County, FL
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I suppose in Winter there's more of stratus-type "low" clouds, and in Summer there's more of the clouds associated with convection, like cumulus-type clouds. The thicker and lower clouds in winter probably do a better job at blocking some of the sun's radiation.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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Yup, Angle of sun and types of clouds in winter compared to summer as been mentioned. Cool Observation though. :-) Think of this.. Low level Stratus clouds common in winter keep it darker, but in the summer some clouds have the same affect.. they are storm clouds. I'm sure you've seen how dark it gets with a rain/thunder storm.

A low angle sun is like a beautifully dimmed light creating a nice ambiance effect.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:16 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
I think it is more than the angel of the sun because many winter sunny days seem so bright.
Both can still be true. When the sun is at a low angle it passes through a longer path of the atmosphere. When the sky is clear, little sunlight is absorbed so the low sun angle makes less difference on the brightness of the sun. When the sky is cloudy, it passes through more clouds getting dimmer. But I think the types of clouds have a large effect, too.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Northville, MI
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Yes, its true. I LOVE those overcast and breezy 80 F days in summer. Its one of the few times in summer the real feel temperature is lower than the actual.
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